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The off-ice transition to Pittsburgh will be difficult for Jason Zucker and family

On sometimes remembering hockey players are actually human beings too

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NHL: JUN 19 NHL Awards Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Behind your favorite team or players, it’s sometimes tough to remember that there are actual human lives involved. For Jason Zucker, the sudden change from working in Minnesota to now doing it in Pittsburgh — at a moment’s notice — means he will be without his family for the rest of the season. From

“This is going to be tough,” Carly said Tuesday, fighting back tears during an appearance with KFAN-FM 100.3’s morning show. “It’s just way more emotional than I thought it would be. I think we all kind of knew it was coming.”

Jason was traded to Pittsburgh for Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison and the Penguins’ 2020 first-round pick (lottery protected). As soon as he was informed of the trade, he called Carly, who was at Valentine’s event.


”It just changes a lot at home. Money aside, it’s hard to imagine doing life without him here. And he’s gone. He left right away. He won’t be home again until after the season.”

Jason is expected to be on the ice Tuesday night, making his debut with the Penguins against the Tampa Bay Lightning. A 24-hour turnaround that will see him go from a wild card-hopeful team in Minnesota to a Stanley Cup-contender in Pittsburgh, where he’ll share the ice with NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, among many others.

”He picked up and he left right away, and to say goodbye to him in that way was hard,” said Carly.

The Zuckers’ situation doesn’t allow Carly to simply pack up and go with her husband. Instead, she’ll remain in Minnesota, visiting Pittsburgh as often as possible, a situation that has often been top of mind as Jason’s name swirled through trade rumors the past two years.

Jason Zucker talked a little more about the situation with Michael Russo from The Athletic. The family isn’t going to remove Zucker’s step-daughter from he school and biological father. This is kind of a reminder that this is just names on twitter or scrolling across NHL Network, it really affects real people’s lives to go through a change like this.

In the past, you and Carly have said that if you were ever traded from here, you’d have to be separated from your family during hockey season because Carly couldn’t take Sophia away from her biological dad. Will that now have to be the case, and if so, how hard will that be on you?

This year, obviously, we want Sophia to finish school and she’ll be doing that and staying here and making sure that that stuff’s taken care of because that’s most important. And, then we’ll figure out the rest. Carly and I will talk about that. Obviously, we’ll do what’s best for our kids and for our family. And that’s something we’ll have to discuss this summer.

This transition figures to be a tough one off the ice for the all of the Zuckers as they get used to new circumstances for the rest of this season.

As for on the ice? Well, welcome to Pittsburgh!