Coyotes trade Wojtek Wolski to Rangers for Michal Rozsival

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Various sources (including TSN’s Darren Dreger) report that the Phoenix Coyotes have traded forward Wojtek Wolski to the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival. It seems like it is a straight-up deal without any other players or draft picks involved, but we’ll pass along additional information if it comes through.

Coyotes GM Don Maloney and Rangers GM Glen Sather have made a handful of deals over the years, including a deal that sent Petr Prucha to the desert, so it should come as no surprise that the two teams made a deal.

The deal itself, however, is a big win for the Rangers and more than a bit bewildering for the Coyotes’ perspective. The Rangers receive $1.2 million in salary cap savings in the exchange, as both Wolski ($3.8 million) and Rozsival ($5 million) will see their contracts expire after the 2011-12 season. Not only that, but New York get a promising – if some might say, wounded, after two trades in two seasons – forward to boot.

Let’s not forget the fact that Wolski is a replacement (if not an upgrade) for injured forward Alex Frolov.

Don’t get me wrong, Wolski really has been struggling this season (six goals and 10 assists for 16 points with a -6). In fact, Rozsival didn’t score much less this season, with three goals and 12 assists for 15 points and a +3 in 10-11. But Wolski trumps Rozsival in the all-important upside category, not to mention the fact that he produced a higher peak: he scored 65 points with the Avs and Coyotes last season.

This trade plus his great move to clear up cap space by getting rid of Olli Jokinen ultimately begs the question: is Sather turning into a wise trader? I’m not sure I’m comfortable living in that world.

So again, if you ask me, the Rangers won big in this trade. But what do you think?