In Sunday’s NY Post Larry
Brooks reports that the Rangers
don’t intend to buyout Wojtek Wolski. The Columbus Blue Jackets were reportedly waiting
on the Rangers to decide what to do with Wolski before adding a replacement
for Kristian Huselius, but Columbus
signed Vinny Prospal this weekend which could mean they’ve gotten indications
the Blueshirts will retain Wolski.
Considering the team passed on its first opportunity to rid
itself of Wolski in June and that the Rangers still have sufficient cap space
to keep Wolski, this makes a lot of sense.
Though no one is confident Wolski is ready to be a
consistent offensive threat worthy of his $3.8 million salary, he has more pure
talent than almost every forward on the Rangers’ roster.
If he can be kept with no real consequences, it makes sense
for the Blueshirts to hang onto him on the off chance that he immediately
clicks with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
The worst-case scenario is that Wolski plays horribly from
the start of training camp and is banished to the AHL or the press box for the
While that would be a disappointment, the Rangers’ roster is
basically set right now and Wolski could be replaced from within. If he doesn’t stick on Broadway his contract
will become dead weight a la Wade Redden, but the Rangers are in decent financial
shape and can afford to simply wait out the last season of his deal.
It’s always good to have depth and even though Wolski isn’t
an ideal player, he’s had success in the NHL and is capable of a big season.
- Brooks also speculates that if Zach Parise becomes a UFA next summer he could
be the most sought after free agent ever. Obviously the Devils will do everything in their power to sign Parise to
a long-term deal, but if nothing gets done soon it would be logical for Parise
to test the open market if for no other purpose than to drive his price up with
New Jersey. Several teams would throw themselves at
Parise and though the Rangers would surely be interested, they’d have a
difficult time matching the dollars he could receive elsewhere. The Blueshirts should have at least $10
million in cap space next summer, but they’ll need to find a new backup goalie
and replacements for possible free agent departures Erik Christensen, Sean
Avery, Mats Zuccarello, Wojtek Wolski, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Prust. Some of those replacements will come from
within, but it will be difficult for the Rangers to present a top-dollar offer
- Jess Rubenstein thinks that Assistant
GM Jeff Gorton could be the successor to Glen Sather.
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