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Wojtek Wolski


Yesterday the Rangers traded Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers.

Before the game, John Tortorella told Ranger Rants why Wolski was able to be moved:

?This year, through his injuries, and then Hagelin comes up and plays, Mitchell comes up and plays, we just run out of spots,? Tortorella said. ?He?s a good guy, I wish him the best. It?s best for him. Our lineup evolved and there just weren?t any spots.?
Wolski scored his first goal of the season last night in the Panthers win over Carolina. He had four shots and played close to 16 minutes.

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At Ranger Rants, Andrew Gross spoke with Wojtek Wolski who returned last week from his conditioning stint in Hartford.

While in Hartford, Wolski had five points in six games with the Whale and he said that those games have him back on track:

?Even though I?ve been skating for so many months recovering from the injury, I needed to get out and play a lot of minutes and get to day what I?m used to and play bigger minutes,? Wolski said. ?Now, I feel the jump in my step again. I?m faster. Overall, I feel better. I?m definitely more ready than before I left.?
Wolski may be in the lineup tonight.

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In the Edmonton Journal, Jim Matheson writes that the Rangers are itching to move Wojtek Wolski.

They would love to dump him; another case of a youngster who doesn?t know what hard work is to go with his talent.
Wolski has not played since returning from a conditioning stint. He has played in three games since November 3rd.

It was revealed yesterday how much money Wolski makes per minute.

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Wojtek Wolski is carrying a cap hit of $20,541 per day. Since coming off Injured Reserve on Jan. 6, Wolski has chewed up $903,809 of space while playing 28:30 in three games (Jan. 12-15 while Brandon Dubinsky was sidelined) that equates to $31,712.60 of cap space a minute.

NY Post

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At CBC, Elliotte Friedman wonders what the Rangers will do with Wojtek Wolski and his cap hit of $3.8 million.

As of now, John Tortorella said that Wolski was staying with the club as an extra forward since guys are banged up.

Jim Matheson writes in the Edmonton Journal says that the Rangers are looking to unload Wolski and could find a taker in a team looking for a top-nine forward.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks thinks that Wojtek Wolski will want to be traded from the team if he can not find a regular spot in the lineup.

Wolski has not accepted the Rangers offer of a conditioning stint in Hartford yet.

Brooks notes that Wolski will be due a qualifying offer of $4 million this summer for the Rangers to retain his rights. If they don't qualify him he will be an unrestricted free agent.

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Update: 5:16PM: John Tortorella said during his pre game press conference about Wolski and and Christensen:

we monitor and watch our players. I'm not saying that we have to get him in, cause I like some of the things going on with our team. That is the situation. He hasn't played a whole bunch and we will see how other guys go along here. He will probably be the next guy to get an opportunity.

When your minor league team is just down the street, it's a really good thing for players. We are in the process of trying to figure all that out. Erik and him have not played, and we are going to get bumped, we are going to get some injuries so I think it would be good if players just went down there to play and get some game time.Tortorella said that there has been consideration about sending him to Hartford but that he has not yet asked them about it.

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During the broadcast on Thursday night, Dam and Joe talked about how Wojtek Wolski is healthy enough to return after sports hernia surgery, but that he was going to have to wait his turn to re-enter the lineup because of how the team is playing now.

Wolski told Ranger Rants that he understands the situation he is in right now:

I know if I was in Torts? position, I wouldn?t change the lineup. The guys aren?t making mistakes so how can you take guys out? It?s something you want to be a part of. It?s great to be part of a first-place team but we?re all competitors and we all want to contribute. When you?re watching the game, it?s hard to do that.?
I think it could be a while for someone like Wolski. It would be much easier for a bottom six type of player to enter the lineup over a skilled guy like Wolski. Wolski was someone who needed to have a fast start to the season to show keep a roster spot, but his injuries limited him and he is one the outside looking in. His shootout skills, though the team hasn't had many shootouts, can also come in handy.
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Fedotenko has 45 hits on the season and had eight last night while playing with Brian Boyle and Carl Hagelin.

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For those not familiar with twitter, Cslocum19 wrote to Wolski saying "if you put as much effort into your tweeting as your do your hustle on the ice, we should see a tweet from you every few weeks."

Wolski re-tweeted it for his followers to see and then responded "priceless tweet"

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http://youtu.be/_DmgqPfkf20

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/stevezipay/status/130409831914938368"]

Brad Richards said on MSG that he didn't think it was a bad hit. More of a collision.

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Before last nights game against Edmonton, John Tortorella revealed that Wojtek Wolski had recovered from his groin issue and was going to be a healthy scratch.

Tortorella said that he didn't want to mess with a fourth line that had been part of two straight wins:

?We know Wools is a guy that scored 50 points in this league, and eventually we?ve got to try to get that out of him,? Tortorella said. ?But right now, as we win a game in Calgary and win a couple, that situation with the fourth line is gonna keep the same tonight.?
Wolski had said that he wanted to play yesterday.

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Update: 6:49PM: Wolski didn't comment on what John Tortorella said about him.

Brooks clarifies that he thinks Wolski is overextending his time rehabbing his groin injury.

Original Post:

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/stevezipay/status/116548175166312448"]

That is the word with everyone. With Wolski, the talent is there and work ethic, at least this summer and in training camp, has seemed to match up. He will likely get to start the season on the top line so he will have chances to make an impact early on.

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At the Globe and Mail, James Mirtle lists Wojtek Wolski as one of the players taking part in the Biosteel camp in Toronto.

Wolski is on a team that is working with Gary Roberts.

Some of the other NHL players at the camp include Steven Stamkos,Tyler Seguin, Mike Cammalleri are Jeff Skinner.

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In the Toronto Star, David Feschuk writes about 50-year-old Jari Bryski. Bryski runs a hockey school where he has worked with many NHL players, like Steven Stamkos and Jason Spezza, since before they were teenagers.

Feschuk writes that the Rangers Wojtek Wolski was part of a foursome that included Spezza, Jeff Skinner and Mike Cammalleri who were working with Bryski during the offseason.

Michael Del Zotto tweeted about Bryski as well. Marty Biron also worked with Bryski this offseason.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that buying out the final year of Wojtek Wolski's contract "doesn't appear to be in the Blueshirts blue print."

He says that Columbus was waiting to see what the Rangers did with Wolski.

Yesterday, Columbus signed Vinny Prospal to a one-year deal.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Wojtek Wolski could be in jeopardy of being bought out during the second buyout period that was triggered when Brandon Dubinsky, and others, filed for arbitration.

A Wolski buyout would save the Rangers $3.3 million and only cost $466,667 on the cap this season and $667,666 next season.

If Wojtek Wolski wasn't in the Rangers plans for this season, he would have been bought out already. Because he wasn't, I have to believe that the team sees him as someone who can help address the scoring issues they had last year. They have over $12 million in cap space to sign three players, plus a defenseman, and that should be plenty. I would think that the Rangers probably played out many different scenarios for how the off-season could have gone and if they wanted more space than they have, Wolski would be gone already. Since he isn't, I have to think that they see him as a member of the 2011-12 Rangers.

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Jim asks: After the news about Drury this morning, do you think that the Rangers will try to save money by buying out Wojtek Wolski now?

Adam: Good question Jim. The Rangers reportedly decided last week that they weren't going to buy out Wolski. Buying him out though would save the team $3.3 million this season. That is the same amount of money that buying out Chris Drury would save and it would only cost $466,667 on the cap this season and $666,667 next season.

It was reported at various times that the Rangers were "almost certain" to buy out Wolski and that could be the route that they go at some point during the buyout period. The Rangers don't have a lot of depth on the wings and there aren't a lot of scorers on the market. I think that it's a little risky to cut ties with Wolski just for cap purposes, unless they think Mats Zuccarello can step in the role they expect Wolski to have. If the Rangers didn't think that Wolski was going to be a top six player this season, they would no doubt buy him out. The Rangers acquired Wolski to score last year and while he was inconsistent, he is in the last year of his deal and will reportedly work with Brian Boyle and Barbara Underhill this summer. Unless they know they have someone who can replicate the production they expect of him, I don't think that they should buy him out.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers are "all but certain to file for salary arbitration against one of their eligible impending Group II free agents as a mechanism to trigger a second buyout period in August."

The Rangers are planning to buy out the last year of Chris Drury's contract this week.

The first buyout period is from June 15th to June 30th.

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Update: 7:38AM: 6/10/11

Brooks writes in today's NY Post that the Rangers will consider buying out Wolski during the second buyout period in August if they decide to cut ties with him then.

The second buy out period is from July 20th until August 6th.

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In the Edmonton Journal, Jim Matheson writes that the Rangers want Brad Richards to center their number one line.

He writes that to clear cap space the Rangers can buy out Chris Drury and that Sean Avery could be another possibility.

Drury would cost $3.7 million against the 2011-12 cap and $1.6 million in 2012-13. Wojtek Wolski is also expected to be an option to be bought out.

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At Newsday, Arthur Staple writes that the Rangers "will almost certainly" buy out the final year of Wojtek Wolski's contract.

Wolski will have a cap hit of $3.8 million next season.

Buying out Wolski would cost the Rangers $466,667 next season and $666,667 the following season.

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?It?s obviously frustrating, not playing the way you can, and not performing,? Wolski said. ?It?s been a disappointing year, but I?m happy that I have been able to come up a couple of times ? shootouts, and here and there during games. Yesterday was an example of it. I hope it continues, and I hope that I?m given the opportunity to perform.?

Wolski to the Daily News

This is his chance. He clicked with Derek Stepan and Vinny Prospal on Monday and the Rangers need a guy with his level of talent to step up over the last two games and the playoffs.

If Wolski is moving his legs and getting involved, he will get ice time. John Tortorella rewards the players who work, and Wolski needs to be one of them.

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I?m hoping there?s a realization that there?s going to be a process here one way or another. And again, he hasn?t been awful. But we think he?s a very talented player; it?s just being more involved along with his talent.?

John Tortorella to Carp at Rangers Report

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You don?t want to be out of the lineup. You want to be in the lineup. But I don?t think that (the shootout goal) is a good enough reason to keep me in the lineup. I?ve got to play better. He (coach John Tortorella) is holding me accountable. The only one to blame is myself. I have to play better and have more of an impact on the game. Obviously, I realize I have a lot of upside and potential. I?m happy they realize it too. The team is battling for a playoff spot and I?m not playing as well as I could be. They?re going to hold me accountable. It was a quick conversation (with Tortorella). It wasn?t anything too big. We?ve got to win and I?ve got to be a part of it. If I?m not contributing, I?m not going to play.?

Wolski to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants

It is a pretty honest look at his game and that is nice to hear. I like to believe in players and that when they say things like this, they will take it to heart and work towards being a better player. Wolski probably realizes that he has been traded twice already at a young age and that if he doesn't get his act together on a consistent basis soon, he won't be in the league in a few years or he will be playing for a lot less money. He has so much talent and meshes well with Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello. He was likely to return to the lineup on Friday as it was, but Sean Avery taking some penalties last night probably sends him back to the press box.
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?In practice, I was taking one-timers and a shooting a lot off the point and they asked me if I had done it and I said I did,? Wolski said. ?I said I was comfortable with it. There?s a lot of time to face up and see the zone.?

Wolski to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants

...The powerplay can't get worse, so why not try Wolski. Hopefully he can connect on a one timer or two.
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Update: 11:16AM:

More on Wolski and his breakup with the Coyotes here, via BTB

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While it has been suggested that the Rangers found a taker for Rozsival and his big salary cap hit, it was quite the opposite. Maloney found a taker for Wolski and one willing to help the Phoenix defense. Maloney is the one who eagerly called Sather after Frolov was injured.

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