First off, let me say it’s great to be back after a week long vacation. Getting a chance to recharge the batteries underneath the sun at the Jersey Shore (no, not the lame TV show, I mean the actual beach) is always a good thing. But, it’s back to the grindstone and I couldn’t be happier to do so.
While I was gone, I did try and keep myself in touch with as much Rangers news as possible. One piece of news I did come across was Columbus LW Kristian Huselius tearing his pectoral muscle and needing 4-6 to full recover after surgery. With one of their reliable goal scorers on the shelf, the Blue Jackets, who have been buyers this offseason, will need someone to replace him. Could the answer be the Rangers’ Wojtek Wolski?
Join me after the jump to find out.
Initially, I was against a potential Tyutin for Wolski move. Tyutin came up through the Rngers farm system and was thought of as a very good defensive prospect and was part of the ill-faded deal that brought enigmatic forward Nikolai Zherdev to New York. It turned in to a one-year experiment as the Rangers cut ties with Zherdev after that season ended while Tyutin went on to become a reliable, shut-down defenseman in a tough Western Conference environment.
After having more time to ponder, it’s not the worst idea in the world.
The salaries are roughly a million dollar apart (Tyutin at $2.843, Wolski at $3.8) and both are free agents (Wolski is a RFA) at the end of the upcoming season. Both players are still young and nearing their respective primes (Tyutin 27, Wolski 25).
Would Columbus do the deal? At the outset, no. They have nearly $9 million in cap space left with 19 players signed and would be adding another million in payroll after the deal. So, for Columbus, it may not be worth their while and a cheaper option would be better. However, the appeal of Wolski’s talents along side a line of Rick Nash and newly acquired Jeff Carter could convince Columbus that Wolski is a worthy gamble.
For the Rangers, Tyutin isn’t the ideal candidate for the “veteran” defenseman they covet but still a player that could help. Glen Sather would like to bring in a stable force to the back line, likely with some Stanley Cup experience (maybe even a ring) to help mold one of the youngest defense corps in the NHL. At this point, Tyutin has as much value to the Rangers as UFA Steve Eminger does. But, the Rangers have a glut of forwards, even without Dubinsky and Callahan signed, and the free agent defenseman available are too pricey for the Rangers.
Does this trade happen? Probably not. Maybe other pieces need to be added to consummate the deal. But, the point is, the potential is there.
Follow Blue Line Station here.
Follow me here.