According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie The New York Rangers have traded winger Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers in return for minor league defenseman Mike Vernace and a 3rd round draft pick. Wolski was acquired last season in return for defenseman Michal Rozsival and this season has only played 9 NHL games, failing to score and adding three assists. Mike Vernace is a 25 year old defenseman who has played 22 NHL games in his career.
This is not a trade that changes the franchise by any means, but it is yet another example of Sather’s magical trading abilities. Wolski was clearly not a fit for the Rangers and with his large cap hit was not much of a trading chip. Players of similar stature go through waivers or get traded for late round draft picks every year. Thus, for Sather to pick up a 3rd round draft pick as well as a steady defenseman for the Connecticut Whale is fantastic.
The biggest acquisition in this trade might be cap space, though. Wolski’s large cap hit no doubt was a problem for Sather in trying to acquiring a key player, and moving Wolski now gives Sather much more wiggle room. We’ll see if he utilizes that.
Ultimately, to get a 3rd round pick (and a minor leaguer) for a player who was of absolutely no value to the Rangers and was running out of chances in the NHL is a great move by Glen Sather. Regardless of whether Sather trades that pick in a separate deal or keeps it, Glen Sather once again managed to get something out of nothing.