On Tuesday the Phoenix Coyotes traded forward Wojtek Wolski to the New York Rangers for defenseman Michal Roszival. The way things are shaping out it looks like it will benefit both teams in the long run.
The Coyotes are so much better offensively, and worse defensively, this year than they were last year and the misfiring Wolski was finding it hard to get more ice time. The Rangers have just lost Alex Frolov for the rest of the season and need some offensive talent for back up.
Wolski is young and has undoubted talent. What he managed in the latter half of last season for the Coyotes was remarkable. He was scoring at a rate of a point per game and continued his good form into the playoffs.
This year, however, Wolski has struggled to find any sort of consistency and sits towards the bottom of the Coyotes pack with only six goals and 10 assists in 36 games. He was a player in need of a big game or a move and due to a lack of ice time, he got the latter.
But Rangers coach John Tortorella believes Wolski has potential.
“I thought (Wolski) played hard,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it, to see if he can really help this team play.”
Rozsival is a veteran defenseman and brings more experience to the Phoenix blue-line He will be a great mentor for the younger guys such as Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle and David Schlemko – although Yandle is having the best season of all the Coyotes’ defensemen so far and looks to have matured a lot since last year. Rozsival also has the ability to put up points and score goals as well, something so crucial to the Phoenix organisation, who play defensively and look to their blue-line to contribute along with the forwards.
Rozsival also brings depth to the Coyotes defence that has, at times, looked a little prone to making mistakes. This is especially the case for the younger defensemen. Of course, making mistakes is all part of the learning process, but Phoenix did need another experienced defenseman who, by and large, knows his trade inside out and will not make as many errors.
The ‘Yotes the likes of Lee Stempniak to step up. Despite scoring in the last game, Stempniak has not been putting up the points and goals he should. Shane Doan, Lauri Korpikoski and Scottie Upshall are all around the 10-goal mark. Simply put, the ‘Yotes still need someone to come in who looks he can be a legitimate threat to light the lamp every time he steps on the ice.
For more from James Tennant, check out his blog at yourarmchairpundit.blogspot.com…