How does he do it?
For as many awful salary cap situations as Glen Sather has
gotten the Rangers into, he has a nifty way of wriggling himself out of
The latest move this evening saw Slats send Michal Rozsival
and his $5 million cap hit over the next two years to Phoenix for 24-year-old left wing Wojtek
Wolski comes with a $3.8 million cap hit so not only did the
Rangers get a talented young forward, but they’ll have an extra $1.2 million
next year to play with. That extra money
could be used to add another piece before the trade deadline, but it ill also
be a huge asset this summer when the Rangers must re-sign Brandon Dubinsky and
Ryan Callahan and are expected to make a run at Brad Richards.
Rozsival has been the frequent subject of boos over the last
couple years, and much of it was undeserved. Like Wade Redden, it wasn’t Rozsival’s fault that Sather threw an
obnoxiously large contract his way. Like
any logical human being he took it and didn’t look back. But Rozsival was a good soldier for the
Blueshirts and was a solid defender for the most part. Unfortunately his balky knees and hips have
been his undoing.
In Wolski the Rangers have picked up another enigmatic,
hot-and-cold forward much like Alex Frolov whose injury was the impetus behind
this deal. I watched Wolski a lot with
the Avalanche and his talent is obvious. Of course, he also has a tendency to disappear for stretches.
One thing’s for sure; the Blueshirts will be really tough to
beat in the shootout for the rest of the year. Wolski is one of the best in the skills competition
and with Mats Zuccarello’s emergence and Erik Christensen’s return a month from
now combined with Hank in net, the Blueshirts should be able to pick up a few
extra points down the stretch.
Wolski could be a much-needed shot in the arm for the
Rangers attack, but even as a marginal forward this deal is a win. Yet again the Blueshirts got younger as Steve
Eminger is now the elder statesmen on the blue line at age 28. Wolski has had plenty of success in his young
career and at a younger age than Frolov he may be able to put it all together
But most of all, this was another shrewd financial move by
Slats who has proven that the salary cap is not an obstacle for anything he
wants to do. The Master of Monetary
Maneuvering has shed yet another silly contract and made the Rangers better
through a trade.
Stop us if you’ve heard that before.