Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wolski Buyout Rumors Return, But Should They?

Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that Wojtek Wolski is not out of the woods yet in terms of being bought out of his contract this summer.  The second buyout period was triggered by the Rangers restricted free agents filing for arbitration earlier this week
The Wolski buyout is a popular option amongst some looking to save some money under the cap for next season as removing him would save $3.33 million against the cap.  The problem with doing so is the Rangers don’t have anyone with that kind of upside to replace him and there is no one left on the market to be had for that kind of contract.   Wolski is a strange case because his ability to go for 65-70 points in a season is just as likely as him going for 40 points next year.

This is not really about the money as the Rangers have $12.8 million to work with under the cap to sign Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle.  Add in Tim Erixon if he makes the team and a veteran defender and it could eventually get tight, but a player like Erik Christensen should be on the chopping block before Wolski as at least Wolski has shown the ability to put it together for a season instead of just a few games.  Roll the dice with the talent playing in a contract year if he puts it together you win with a motivated first line talent and if not you walk away clean.

Sather Making All The Right Moves This Summer

Over the years New York Rangers GM Glen Sather has earned and taken a tremendous amount of criticism for the ways in which he has tried to construct this team into a championship contender.  He has failed miserably in the past by overpaying big names and hoping they could short circuit the actual building of a team.  Those plans took a back seat over the past few years as the Rangers incorporated more and more youth from their system, which along with key trades Sather made along the way set a foundation for a season full of promise last year. 
This summer the Rangers had to lock down the young players that helped bring so much hope for the future and add the elite piece they were missing to hopefully take the next step into a legitimate contender.  To open June Sather took advantage of the Calgary Flames issues signing young defensive prospect Tim Erixon by trading for a player who would have been a top-10 pick for the low price of two second rounders and prospect Roman Horak.  Then, before free agency began, the buyout of Chris Drury created $3.33 million in cap space for the Rangers to sign their five key restricted free agents and go out and add other talent.  The move to remove Drury goes beyond the money it saves, but also allows the Rangers to fully pass the leadership of the team to the younger core.

Now let us look at what has gone on the past week.