Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rumor: Wojtek Wolski Unlikely To Be Bought Out By Rangers

According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post the New York Rangers are not planning on buying out Wojtek Wolski as a way to gain additional cap relief this season.  Brooks goes on to say that Columbus is waiting to see what happens with Wolski, but that fails to track with the fact they signed Vinny Prospal yesterday to help replace the injured Kristian Huselius.  A buyout for Wolski would save the Rangers $3.33 million against a cap that is tighter than it appeared it would be a few weeks ago. 

According to the Rangers have just under $5.78 million in cap space remaining to sign Ryan Callahan and likely Steve Eminger.  Those numbers factor in $1.75 million for Tim Erixon this season, but do not count Michael Del Zotto’s $1.0875 against the cap.  If we assume that both Erixon and Del Zotto make the team this fall they really have $4.69 million to sign Callahan and Eminger, which is not enough.  There will be a forward move either via trade or to the minors and right now if Wolski stays Mats Zucarello’s $1.75 million against the cap would seem a likely candidate.

Keeping Wolski for his final year at $3.8 million is a gamble on his talent, but also should indicate that they are intending on at least giving him a chance to make it on the top line with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.  When you have a player than could be bought out extremely cheap, as is the case with Wolski, and you keep them at their significant salary it is not so they can be a bottom six forward or scratched from the lineup.  The experiment of him playing with Gaborik and Richards could fail, but keeping him for his salary leads to the assumption it will at least be tested.