2008 Final Grade: Wojtek Wolski

2008 Final Grade: B

2007 Grade: B

Links:

{{wolski}} (hockey-reference page)

2007 report

2008 ITCS (aka highly unofficial) Wolski game log

Season Stats: 77gp 18g 30a 48pt +10

Minutes: 1,226.50 (4th among forwards), EV 13:16, PP 2:03, PK :36, ATOI 15:56

1st Half: 41gp 13g 13a 26pt +3

2nd Half: 36gp 5g 17a 22pt +7

Playoffs: 7gp 2g 3a 5pt -1

Best Month: October (11g 4a 5pt +5)

Positions: LW (75), C (2)

Lines: 2nd (47), 1st (16), 3rd (8), 4th (6)

Linemates:

LW: Brunette (1), Parker (1)

C: Arnason (25), Stastny (19), Sakic (18), Hlinka (5), Hensick (4), Richardson (2), Guite (2)

RW: Brunette (30), Svatos (23), Hejduk (12), Laperriere (6), Jones (2), Hensick (1), Hlinka (1), McCormick (1),

Season: In his second year, Wolski set a career high in assists (30) and +/- (+10)

Report: I thought this might be a breakout year for Wolski (I even suggested he might outscore Paul Stastny), but it didn't happen. Wolski had another good season, but he really should be better by this point. Wolski was scratched and shuffled around by Joel Quenneville in the 2nd half of the season and that creates a fun chicken versus egg argument. Were his struggles caused by Quenneville's tinkering or was it the other way around? I felt it was a little of both. At times, Wolski seemed to be unfairly doghoused by our now ex-coach. And, at times, he seemed to be phoning it in. Wolski was first scratched in game 62. Going into that game, Wolski had (unofficially) 0 hits in his last 7 games and just 4 multi-hit games on the year. In the remaining 16 games Wolski dressed for, he had 8 multi-hit games and 26 total hits (vs 27 in the first 62). Wolski seems to play better after a scratch (3 points in 4 games following a scratch this year...and don't forget his 4-point game after his first scratch last year) which tells me he's not always bringing his A game. Wolski saw a slight increase in ice time this year, mostly due to a 20-game stint starting with game 41 as a penalty killer. Although he looked pretty good on the kill, that stint essentially ended when he started getting scratched. Wolski also spent some time as the point man on the powerplay; I like Wolski, but that's just not the right place for him. Something else that might indicate that Wolski wasn't as hampered by Quenneville's changes as I had originally thought: Wolski essentially split his time on the wing with 3 different centers - Arnason, Sakic and Stastny. Wolski's point totals with the three: 13, 12 and 12, respectively. My point? Getting moved around didn't seemed to have much negative impact on his game. I have to admit I expected this page to be filled with all sorts of ex-Q-ses for Wolski's play this year. After looking a little more closely, though, I think a lot of Wolski's problems fall on his own shoulders. Again, he had a good season - hence the "B" - but I still think he's capable of more.

Fast Fact: For a guy who has trouble bringing his lunch pail to every game, Wolski has been remarkably consistent in his monthly point totals. Going back to the beginning of last year (and excluding the short month of April), Wolski's monthly point totals have been: 8, 8, 11, 9, 4, 4, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, 8. The two months with the lower output were February and March of last year, when he struggled with a concussion.

2007-2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $860,000 ($984,000)

2008-2009 Status: RFA

Outlook: I think we'll learn a lot about Wojtek Wolski next season. With a new coach and, hopefully, a shiny new offensive system, Wolski could have that breakout year I thought we'd see this year. Or, he could simply maintain his current path and become a useful 3rd liner. The choice, it seems, is his.

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