After the news broke that the Rangers would indeed be buying out captain Chris Drury, rumors ran rampant about what the Rangers would do with LW Wojtek Wolski. Jesse Spector of the NY Daily News suggested that Wolski will likely be bought out. I asked him the same question on Twitter, in which he responded that the Wolski buyout isn’t as set in stone as Drury’s, but it will more that likely occur.
Less than 3 hours after Spector answered my question via Twitter, Larry Brooks of the NY Post released his article stating that Wolski will not be bought out. This of course led to a feeding frenzy among the blog-o-sphere, as many were quick to post the Brooks confirmation, as if the Spector confirmation never occurred. I have to admit, I penned a post as well, but decided last minute not to post it (courtesy of some coaxing by The Suit and Chris).
Instead, let’s take a step back and look at a few factors here. Both Brooks and Spector are respected mainstream media members, who have been very generous in answering many fans questions, and giving us breaking news as it occurs. When reading their articles, Spector uses logic to suggest that Wolski will be bought out. The logic makes sense, and I agreed with him that it makes sense for the Rangers to buy out Wolski for the $3.3 million in savings next year, with just a $667k cap hit the following season (details here). Spector was not the only beat writer to believe Wolski would be bought out, as Arthur Staple of Newsday believed so as well.
Brooks, on the other hand, is citing an anonymous source that Wolski will in fact not be bought out. I can see the logic here too, in that Wolski has tremendous skill, and might excel on a line with Brad Richards (assuming he winds up a Ranger) and Marian Gaborik. His inconsistencies generally level out when he is paired with a playmaking center, which he was not during his half season here.
When taking a step back from it all, Brooks is generally right when he breaks this kind of information. I am inclined to side with Spector and Staple that he will be bought out to make more room for Richards, but keeping Wolski isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world for the Rangers. They would be taking a chance on a 26 year old who would still be under team control when his current contract ends. He is also a short term commitment, compared to any UFA the Rangers might chase after. I still think he’s bought out, but I won’t exactly be crying if he isn’t.