Aside from getting Wojtek Wolski in the trade just announced a bit ago, Glen Sather and the Rangers get something that could be more valuable in the next six weeks before the trade deadline: salary-cap space.
With Alex Frolov's $3-million available to go on long-term injured reserve and come off the cap and $1.2-million difference between Wolski's and Michal Rozsival's salary cap hits, the Rangers have room to add a major contract before the deadline -- say, Brad Richards of the Stars -- or a couple smaller ones, perhaps on defense, where the Rangers now have six players under 27.
"That's the other side of the coin: We created another opportunity we didn't have with Rozsival's $5-million," Sather said on a just-concluded conference call. "It gives us more opportunities to do some things that may come up in the future."
Sather said he's liked Wolski for a while and understands what he's getting: Wolski had 22 goals for the Avalanche as a rookie, helped spur the Coyotes to the playoffs after going to Phoenix at last season's trade deadline and is now on his third team in less than two years.
"You're not going to get a player like this, at this stage of his career, unless something's gone wrong," Sather said. "We're going to give this guy an opportunity. We think we have some players he can be successful playing with."
That almost certainly means he'll start his Rangers career on the left side with Marian Gaborik -- the spot Frolov was supposed to thrive in.
As for Rozsival, Sather bid him a fond farewell. "I thought he was treated a little unfairly every once in a while," Sather said, a reference to the MSG boo-birds who targeted Rozsival from time to time over his five seasons. "But he was the ultimate professional. He's a good player, durable, he played through a lot of pain here, he never complained. We liked Rozy a lot."