According to Darren Dreger of TSN the New York Rangers have traded Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes for Wojtek Wolski. . The move will save the Rangers 1.2 million against the cap this season and bring in an extremely talented if underperforming forward to give the Rangers another push as they look to rise to the ranks of contender. Wolksi, 24, has six goals and ten assists in 36 games this season for the Coyotes after having a breakout year last year in which he posted a line of 23-42-65 in 80 games.
All day there has been trade talk surrounding the Rangers with their vast assortment of injuries with the latest being Alex Frolov out for the year with a knee injury. To turn the disappointment that has been Frolov into the talent that is Wolski is beyond the scope of what many would let themselves imagine especially for only surrendering Rozsival. This is a brilliant move by the much maligned Glen Sather who once again has found a way to correct a free agent contract mistake though the trade market. Wolski has one year remaining on his deal at 3.8 million against the cap, but to compare that to the 5 million that Rozsival was due to count it only makes the deal look better. A little over a month ago I pondered what a Wolski move would be like for the Rangers when there were first rumblings that he could be on the market. The biggest thing that the Rangers have been lacking is secondary scoring and elite talent and Wolski has the potential to bring both of those things in droves.
From the Coyotes perspective they receive a veteran defender to merge into their core and will save 800K in salary next season. Rozsival has three goals and 12 assists in 32 games so far this season for the Rangers. There is a familiarity there for Maloney with Rozsival from his time in New York and he has the ability when healthy to eat up minutes. The have to be concerns about his healthy considering he has missed the last two games with a rib issue and missed nine earlier this season with a shoulder and knee issue.
You have to consider that a move like this is likely the result of the relationship between Maloney and Sather due to their frequent trade partnerships and could be a piece that pushes the Rangers forward to another level. I would have expected a move for Wolski to come at a much steeper price than this given his age, contract status and skill level. This move gives the Rangers another toy to wind up and go play with Marian Gaborik in an attempt to get him into full gear this season. Playing the skill of Wolski and Gaborik with the skill and physicality of Anisimov gives the Rangers a tremendous amount of potential and only makes the team deeper when Ryan Callahan returns from injury. To this point in the season the Rangers have been a pleasant surprise, but now with the addition of young talent to go with all the homegrown talent that is emerging the Rangers have to now be considered a team to truly contend with in the Eastern Conference.