Conflicting Wolski Reports Fuel Rumors, Confusion

June 10, 2011, by

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.


  1. mhurley says:

    Wait a minute. I don’t respect Brooks and I know many others who think he has about as much credibility and journalistic integrity as Ecklund. Spector has only been on the beat for 15 seconds.

    Whether Wolski will be bought out is sheer speculation at this time and yet Larry’s “anonymous” sources would lead readers to believe what he says over the other beat writers.

    Brooks’ source may have given him accurate information about Boogaard but I still wouldn’t trust Brooks as far as I could throw him.

    • The Suit says:

      I think 90% of what Brooks writes in the offseason is complete garbage. The tough part is figuring out that other 10%.

      He seems to be less opinionated on stuff he gets right, source-wise.

  2. Mikeyyyy says:

    It makes no sense to buy him out without seeing wha barb does with him this summer.

    You cpd be buying out a guy that could become a 25-35 goal guy.

    • The Suit says:

      35 goals from Wolski hahaha? Can you roll me whatever you’re smoking?

      • Mikeyyyy says:

        I could but that would make you a believer.

        Now none ofthis is statistically provable because the data set is too small.

        Bit Boyle goes from 5 to 20.
        Wowo should go from 12 to 40

        But with prust mdz and wowo at underhills. We should see improvement from them all.

        I would keep wowo till at least training camp to see what he’s capable of. U never know what a summer with bb and bp can do to a player. He might come out after being tough a nails.

        • The Suit says:

          Here’s the thang. And look, I don’t disagree with you. It could conceivably happen, but to some extent Brian’s skating was what was holding him back.

          Do you think skating is what’s holding the rest of these guys back?

          Prust could see a bump in production, as could MDZ defensively, but Wowo is as soft as wet toilet paper.

          None the less, I am starting to agree with you on the timing of the Wowo buyout timing.

          • Mikeyyyy says:

            Any improvement in skating makes you better all around.

            Do I think their play will improve. Yes.

            Do I think that they are with barb all working on the same thing? No.

            If barb is smart. And I think she is. She is individuizing the training so they get the most out it.

            But now my expectations of all those guys gave gone up.

            I expect Boyle to be a 30 goal guy. Prust a 20 goal guy. Mdz a speed demon.

            And wowo better pot 30 goals. Or I’m burning his jersey. 🙂

            • The Suit says:

              Your sarcasm just jumped off the page and hit me in the face. Thank you for that, I was getting sleepy.

  3. Zen says:

    I don’t think Wolski will be bought out at this time. As much financial sense at it makes, the UFAs out there that could be replacements are not really 1st line caliber and would have to be signed to multi-year deals at the same salary (or higher). They are better off rolling with Wolski and hoping that the light goes on.

    • Dave says:

      There are rumors that Slats is going to trade for a negotiating window for Richards. I think the buyout of Wolski and this trade are directly related.

      If they trade for him, and his asking price requires more cap room, they will buy out Wolski. If they don’t trade for him and/or his asking price is lower, he won’t be bought out.

      • Blueshirt in Paris says:

        Well there are rumors that was already made and Richards refused to waive his NMC.

        Also, if you are inclined to believe Brooks then you need acknowledge his past comments that Richards is not coming to NY, that NYR is not his first choice at all.

        So if Richards isn’t coming, then it makes sense to not buyout WW. We would need that potential offense.

        Problem is, buyout window closes before Free agency so you really don’t know. Though I would expect dumping WW to a team that needs to hit the cap floor for very little in return should not be all that difficult to do.

        • The Suit says:

          See I believe Brooks printed the anti-Richards article (after how many pro-Richards articles?) to sell papers. I think he got bored with himself.

          • Blueshirt in Paris says:

            lol, probably. His latest headline is “Rangers buy out Drury”…which is a bit misleading since they really haven’t.

            But he does mention what I was getting at above. WW wont be bought out in June since we dont know if we will land Richards but could be bought out in Aug if we do and need the space.

  4. The Suit says:

    I think he’ll be bought out. Maybe if we were on the hook for 2/3 salary we wouldn’t, however, the 1/3 cap hit is too good to walk away from. Think about what the $3M from his buyout plus the $7M from Drury can garner you.

    Barbara can’t fix Wolski’s lack of desire to compete for pucks, his issues in the defensive zone, or make him play the body more.

    He’s an “enigmatic” player. I’d rather the money go elsewhere.

    • Mikeyyyy says:

      The real question is will a summer with Brian Boyle and prust instill a desire to fight for a puck.

  5. Matt J says:

    Well for all you believers in the prophet named Larry brooks, he says richards is waiving his ntc and will not be ranger. That’s a pretty big report. Only teams he could consider on July 1st is NYR LA TOR TB basically. July 1st will be a fun day.

    • The Suit says:

      I thought the report was that Richards wasn’t waiving his NTC?

      • Blueshirt in Paris says:

        I think he forgot to add ‘not’ in between ‘is and ‘waiving’

        • The Suit says:

          Either way. I think Brad not waiving his NTC is the right thing to do and it doesn’t hurt the Rangers chances at all. Toronto had a pretty sweet deal lined up for his rights. The last thing we should want is having another team getting a head start.