The New York Rangers have cleared some cap space Saturday morning, just two days before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday afternoon, sending forward Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers in exchange for AHL defenseman Michael Vernace and a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Wolski had fallen out of favor with the Rangers following a groin injury this season, one year after he was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes in a midseason trade. He'll be a restricted free agent in July when the two-year, $7.6 million deal he originally signed with the Coyotes in 2010 expires, but the trade to Florida gives him a chance to revive his career. He had played in just a handful of games for John Tortorella following his return from injury, and hadn't suited up for an NHL game since Jan. 15. Wolski also played seven games for the AHL's Connecticut Whale.
Rangers fans at Blueshirt Banter love the deal, impressed with Glen Sather's ability to get a third round pick in return for a guy who hadn't been a contributing piece for the entirety of the season thus far. Check in with Litter Box Cats for reaction from Panthers fans.
Sather effectively gives himself $3.8 million in wiggle room under the cap thanks to the deal, and with rumors still circulating about New York's interest in Rick Nash, the speculation train has long since left the station.
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