Sather replenishes Ranger Fs with Wolski

January, 10, 2011
1/10/11
6:08
PM ET
GM Glen Sather wasted little time filling the hole created by the season-ending injury to Alexander Frolov.

Monday he traded blueliner Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Wojtek Wolski, simultaneously obtaining a talented scorer (227 points in 356 career games) while creating $1.2 million in salary cap space. Doesn't seem to shabby a move for the much-maligned Sather.

Wolski's price may have been reduced due to diminished production in the 2010-11 campaign (6 goals and 10 assists in 36 games). That's .20 points per game below his career average. However, the trade may serve to spark the 24-year-old. After getting shipped from Colorado to Phoenix last season, Wolski tallied 23 points in 25 games, including the seven-game playoff series loss to Detroit.

The cost of Rozsival isn't insignificant. The 32-year-old Czech put up 15 points in 32 games and has been an able-bodied blueliner with the puck while Michael Del Zotto has endured some growing pains this season, contributing six of his assists on the power play.

The emergence of the Rangers' other defensemen -- such as Matt Gilroy, Mike Sauer and the recently promoted Ryan McDonagh -- may have made him somewhat expendable. The $1.2 million gained in salary cap space could also make his departure more palatable, allowing the Rangers a little more leeway to bring in help at the trade deadline -- if not sooner. Another veteran blueline presence wouldn't be surprising, considering the Rangers' D-men now average just over 24 years in age. That's a number that could decrease should the 20-year-old Del Zotto return to the roster.

Wolski's acquisition almost certainly spells the end of the road for Frolov on Broadway. The highly skilled (but sometimes seemingly unmotivated) winger never found his stride in New York and didn't record a point in the seven games prior to his injury. However Colorado Avalanche beat writer Adrian Dater, of the Denver Post, cautioned that Wolski is similarly prone to passive nights on the ice.

Frolov will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season after earning $3 million with the Rangers. Wolski, under contract for next season, will count $3.8 million against the cap. The Rangers are now about $2.3 million under the cap under the trade according to CapGeek.com, which should start the rumor mills spinning soon enough.

Sather applauded Rozsival's contributions to the Rangers in a Monday evening conference call with the media, but said the move was "too good an opportunity to turn down." Until the quotes get transcribed by the media, you can check out the Rangers' official Twitter feed for a sample.

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