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Trading places: Michal Rozsival swapped for Wojtek Wolski


 

Well, that was quick. About 24 hours after Alex Frolov is lost for the season, the Rangers have a new forward.

Heard about this in doc's office on my off-day, and Mark Herrmann will handle for the paper.

Here's my take: As mentioned in our live chat this afternoon at 2,  Rangers wanted an experienced forward and didn't wanted to surrender youth. Well, they didn't: Rozsival is 32. They also gained about $1.2 million in cap space next season, when they have four key RFAs: Dubinsky, Callahan, Anismov and Boyle. 

Born in Poland, the 6-foot-3 Wolski, 24, is 6-10-16 this season, his sixth in the NHL, Wolski averaged 14:41 time on ice in Dave Tippett's defense first system, but not recently. He played four years in Colorado and two in Phoenix and has played 350 NHL games. He scored 85 goals and has 142 assists and played well against the Wings is last year's post-season. His salary is $3.8 million this year and again next season. He will be in New York tomorrow and could play against Montreal at the Garden. 

Steve Eminger, at 27, is now the Rangers oldest d-man. I expect another deal by the Feb. 28 trade deadline. They still have assets to land an experienced D, and space for next season and perhaps a UFA like Brad Richards, with more shedding and a projected rise in cap ceiling.

Rozsival missed the last two games with sore ribs, but has been pretty steady, despite being a target of the boo-birds at MSG. On a conference call, GM Glen Sather said he was aware of the risks, but could not pass up the opportunity to get bigger and younger. Rozsival, who signed a $20 million, four-year contract in 2008, will help the Coyotes. His real salary is only $3 mil next season, so they'll save cash as well.

Sather also told reporters on the call that he had been discussing deals with GM Don Maloney for a while, but this came together quickly.

After Scott Gomez to Montreal, thought Sather would not figure out a way to shed another big salary without packaging some youngsters or picks. Give him credit. As long as Wolski doesn't morph into another ex-Coyote: Enver Lisin.

More later....

 

 

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