TSN's Bob MacKenzie reported via Twitter that Wojtek Wolski is potentially available at the deadline, and it's generated a great deal of excitement among fans around the league. While many of the players rumored to be available for tomorrow's deadline skew towards old, underperforming and overpaid, Wolski just turned 24, is on pace to score 60 points and has a cap number of just $2.8 million this season. No wonder everyone and their brother is pitching trade offers for him on Twitter.
Avalanche fans may be surprised by this turn of events. Well, Avalanche fans who don't frequent this blog, that is. We floated the idea last week that perhaps Wolski's upcoming contract bump might cause the Avalanche front office to do some deep thinking.
"The Baron" is a talented player putting up some solid numbers. It makes sense for other teams' fans to have some interest. So, why in the heck would he (reportedly) be on the block?
In a nutshell, Wolski is not quite as good on the ice as his production indicates. Although he still possess a ton of potential, he still isn't the player he's capable of being. He's had some tremendous games...and he's had some dogs, as anyone who saw him play on Monday night can attest to. Is there anything inherently wrong with having a 24-year old player who still has room to improve? Absolutely not. But, if you're quickly approaching a day when you have to pay that player close to $4 million a year, you have to start thinking...especially when you suddenly have a roster full of other young players to build around.
Will the Avalanche just give Wolski away? Not a chance. But are they exploring their options right now? Absolutely. Wolski is young, talented, 3 years away from unrestricted free agency and is going to set a career high in points, goals, assists and +/- this year. Oh, and he's also a very capable center (arguably a better center than a left winger). His trade value is potentially at an all-time high right now, and Avalanche GM Greg Sherman would be crazy not to kick the tires on potential deals. The Avalanche are already a bit thin up front - especially on the left side - so the Avalanche would likely be looking to get a roster player back for Wolski (instead of picks or prospects).
There's no guarantee that the World of Wolski will have a new zip code in 24 hours...but it's a definite possibility.