Glen Sather made a major trade last season, sending defenseman Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes for Wojtek Wolski.
Wolski, a player who has seen three different teams the past three seasons, is a 25-year-old winger who has a wealth of offensive talent. The past two season's have been one's to forget for Wolski, but he's only two years removed from a monster 23-goal 42-assist season split between the Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche.
In 37 games for the Rangers last season Wolski only put up 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points. He did have a goal and two assists in five playoff games however. Some games he was completely invisible, making mistakes and riding the pine. Other games he looked like the next big thing, playing effective on both ends of the ice, putting the puck into the back of the net and setting up his line mates with brilliantly executed pinpoint passes.
Wolski is one of those players that makes you say: "Damn, if this kid can put everything together he could be an absolute monster."
There's been a lot of speculation Glen Sather might opt to buyout Wolski, saving $3.3 million dollars on the cap for this upcoming season. I don't understand this logic.
Join me after the jump for my reasons to keep Wolski on the team.
Financially Wolski could be worth the $3.8 million cap hit he levies this season. If he comes anywhere near the 65-points he threw up a few years ago, the cap hit would be a steal. But even if Wolski doesn't hit those numbers, and puts in another disappointing 35-point season (his numbers last year) then it's just a failed experiment.
Wolski only has one year left on his contract, so if he ends up not working out this year Sather can either try to move him in a trade or let him walk at the end of the year to free agency. Basically, by keeping Wolski, the Rangers are playing with house money.
There would be no risk to keeping him on the squad, but there could be a massive return. Wolski, a player who likes scoring garbage goals and planting himself in front of the net, could benefit greatly by playing on a line with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.
Gaborik, who never met a shot he didn't like, and Richards, who also loves to shoot the puck, are both adept at putting the puck on net. If both Gaborik and Richards are shooting like crazy and Wolski is there to bang home the rebounds I can only see good things happening.
This plan does, of course, hinge on Wolski. If Wolski can find his 2008 game, where he was effortlessly stick handling past opponents, scoring goals and making other players dangerous then Wolski-Richards-Gaborik could be one of the most lethal lines in the league.
If Wolski doesn't work out on the top line, then there can be replacements. Ruslan Fedotenko is a player Richards talked about potentially wanting to play with.
Regardless, to me, the rewards heavily outweigh the risks. What do you guys think?