Along with the news of the imminent buy out for Chris Drury this morning, Jesse Spector of the Daily News is reported that a buy out of Wojtek Wolski is likely to happen this month.
The Blueshirts also appear likely to buy out the remaining year on midseason pickup Wojtek Wolski's deal, saving another $3.3 million next season while incurring a $666,667 charge in 2012-13.Update: Apparently the Rangers agree with my assessment as according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers are going to keep Wolski for next season.
I would understand this more if the money was necessary to chase Richards or another top-line player this summer, but it really isn’t with the savings from the Drury buyout and the impending rise in the salary cap there is the money to chase a big salary and not make this move. Besides if the Rangers do make this move, they still need to go out and sign another left wing to provide them with offense.
The benefits to the cap are clear if the Blueshirts decide to move on from Wolski, but the question becomes what can they can to replace him. There are players like Ville Leino, Brooks Laich, Jussi Jokinen and Simon Gagne on the market, but it is unlikely that any of them would come for just one year and most of them will want more than the $3.8 million that Wolski is scheduled to make.
There is no doubt that Wolski has been inconsistent throughout his career, but is it better to have to potentially commit 3-4 years at approximately $4 million for the likes of Leino or Jokinen instead of just giving one more year of Wolski a chance? Talent like Wolski is hard to come by and while flawed he has more potential and a lesser commitment than any forward not named Richards that is out there on the market this summer, so maybe sending him to work with Barbara Underhill this summer and having him playing in a contract year is just what the Rangers need to make the most of the immense talent Wolski has instead of taking the buy out and playing with what is out there.