Monday, January 10, 2011

Photo: NHL 11 Rangers "fans Cheer in Streets" getting Wolski for Rozi

In response to the last post where @mug25 ran NY proposed the deal to PHX and it was rejected, @LundqvistSaves ran it and reverse and without any shock the NY management accepted saying "The fans are going to be cheering in the streets when we announce this deal. I'll take deals like this any day of the week."

Photo: NHL 11 Rejects Rozi for Wolski Trade

In a bit of hilariousness brought to you from @mug25 he ran today's trade of Rozi for Wolski through the trade machine and it got rejected saying, "We here in the PHX Yotes organization take trading seriously. It seems you aren't. You are not even close to offering us fair value for what you are asking for"

My review of Rangers getting Wolski from Coyotes for Rozsival

Video: NHL On the Fly Breaks Down Rozsival Wolski Trade

Very good and accurate assessment of the deal.

Video: Mats Zuccarello NHL Live Interview

Rangers Acquire Wojtek Wolski from Coyotes for Michal Rozsival; New York now Contender?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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. The Rangers are obviously hoping that Wolski responds as he did to his trade last season when he had 18 points in 18 games after being dealt from Colorado to Phoenix last year.  Wolski will be available for the Rangers when they take on Montreal tomorrow night.
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.  The move is not without risk as he is having a down season, but when you have the ability to get the combination of size, speed and skill you take that every time for this price.  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.

Time For Rangers To Make a Trade? What Should They Buy?

Update: The New York Rangers did make a trade today when they acquired Wojtek Wolski from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Michal Rozsival.  The move while having an element of gamble to is does certainly add to the Rangers overall talent level and makes them a bigger threat in the East then they were even before the Frolov injury.

The big question out there today is whether the season ending injury to Alex Frolov changes any of the New York Rangers calculations when it comes to making a trade.  Expect to have the rumor-mill churning with all sorts of names heading to the Rangers for everything under the sun, but let us take a step back and assess the situation.  The reality is that it both does and does not change the way the Rangers have to look at the roster.  The fact is replacing Frolov’s actual production is not that difficult seeing as how he only had a line of 7-9-16 in 43 games played and overall has been a massive disappointment.  In that sense there is no real need to make a move to replace him as he has fluctuated on and off the fourth line.  On the other hand there is a need to replace what the Rangers thought Frolov was going to be this season in terms of a secondary scorer.  The question then becomes do the Rangers try and hold the fort until the reinforcements of Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen and Vinny Prospal filter back into the lineup over the next month or so or do they look to make a move to bring another player to add to the team?

The answer in the short term is likely that they try to ride out the injuries as they have to this point.  Only problem with that line of thinking is that at some point there has to be a cumulative impact of all these injuries, especially when added to the lack of performance from Marian Gaborik.  If you had Gabby firing away like he is capable to go with Dubinsky, Stepan, and Boyle to provide you with four consistent goal scorers at the moment a move would not only not be necessary now it might not be necessary at all to be a contender this season. 
The obvious drawback to looking to make a move right now is the other organizations will smell blood in the water and demand a higher premium for whatever you are looking to acquire.  Salary is not really an issue with the loss of Frolov since club now possesses approximately 4 million and cap space and come trade deadline time could pick up a salary as large as 8.8 million according to Capgeek.  This might make the big name, big contract guy a temptation for Sather, but I do not feel that is the kind of guy the team needs.  As I said above what the team needs is a person to fill the role that Frolov was supposed to fill. 
This creates a different conversation of whether the simple answer is just that Mats Zuccarello is that player.  Emotionally I want to believe he is that answer and he has shown he can play at this level while thriving in big moments, but my worry is about position.  I know that Zuke has and can play the left side, but in watching the difference in how he played for the Rangers on the right and left wings there was a stark difference in his effectiveness.  Reality is when Callahan comes back the Rangers have three right wingers who are top six capable and only one left winger unless Prospal proves to be healthy, which I am not counting on. 
I believe this team needs a LW and I have a number of them in mind with varying costs (mainly Gilroy and/or picks) in terms of trade requirements but not with significant salaries that better fit the Rangers need for a second line winger who can score on the power play.  I have discussed a few of them and depending on what happens in the short term I will talk about some more and why I think they solve the holes for the team. 
In the meantime the Rangers are going to try and hold the fort and do not be surprised if the move to bring up Newbury is a potential hedge against relying on Avery as Newbury can play center, which would free Drury to move back up to the second line while they wait for those reinforcements to arrive.
So tell me what you think. Will the Rangers make a trade? Should the Rangers make a trade?  If they should, what should they target?

Cal Clutterbuck Destroys Stephane Robidas (Video)

Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild has lead the league in hits the past two seasons and is currently leading it once again so to see him smash a guy is nothing new, but that does not make this smash of Stephane Robidas any less impressive for the textbook for with which he delivered the shot and finished off the forecheck.

Daily Recap: Frolov Year Over; Newbury Up, Wrong Choice?; Callahan, Dubinsky Extensions?; Prospects

The big news of the day was the fact Alex Frolov is out for the season with a completely mangled knee that will require surgery and frankly might end his time in the NHL when you consider the fact that he has been declining each year, struggled this season and now will have a rebuilt knee.  To adjust the roster with Frolov out the Rangers called up Kris Newbury from Connecticut.  Prior to the announcement I had written a post about who potential candidates for the call might be which then became the link above but inside is still my rationale for each of the guys I would have thought of.  I left Newbury off the list for multiple reasons and they are inside as well and leave me questioning whether this was the right decision by Rangers management.  If Frolov was a temporary thing I would understand the move more than I do with it being permanent and with none of the other injured Rangers being particularly close to getting back into game action.  There are really more risks than benefits to choosing Newbury over some of the other possible options.  As always let me know what your thoughts are.

In addition to the Frolov news I discussed how the league is trending more towards doing in season contract extensions for the key personnel on a team as was shown again with Johnson contract on Saturday night.  For me this should be the approach that Sather should be taking with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan with their impending restricted free agency this summer.  There is no reason to wait until the summer and risk it dragging out like Dubinsky’s last negotiation did and how Marc Staal’s nearly did this past summer.  Inside I discuss more on why it is vital to get it done now in terms of the team and the message it would send along with throwing around some figures of what it might cost to lock up these two valuable members of the Rangers core.

The Prospect Stats page has been update through games completed today so you can take a look at which prospects have been hot lately and how the lot is faring over the course of the season.  Along with just stats it has some recent highlights and stories regarding Rangers prospects.

Only one video today and it is a whopper as Benn put school in session on a Sunday as he undressed Barker on his way to scoring a goal in a 4-0 win.