According to Larry Brook of the New York Post, the New York Rangers do not plan on buying out the final year of forward Wojtek Wolski’s contract.
Wolski, 25, came to New York in January from Phoenix in exchange for Michael Rozsival, has a cap-hit of $3.8 million, fairly high for a player now on his third team in three years and finished with just 35 points in 73 games. If bought out, the hit would be trimmed to $466,667 this season, and $666,667 the following year.
The Rangers are in a tough spot. On the one hand, Wolski has immense upside. He stands out because of his skill on a very blue-collar squad, a main reason why many feel he has a strong opportunity to open the season alongside Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards on the Rangers’ top-line.
Wolski’s inconsistency has hurt him his entire career. After coming to the Rangers, Wolski had one streak of 10 games without a goal, and another of 17 games, while registering just three points in the playoffs (though the entire team was blanked for the most part). These streaks and disappearing acts must end when you’re receiving nearly $4 million per year, as well as being penciled in as a top-six forward.
$3.8 million is a lot in the salary cap era for a player with the question marks Wolski has. With that said, I don’t think buying him out would be the right move. As stated, the Rangers lack pure skill, and Wolski brings that, albeit not every night. He’d be a strong fit, if given the chance, to play the left pivot on the top line. He can make plays and more importantly, put pucks in the net. You have to take the good with the bad with Wolski, and in the end it’s worth it.
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