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Wolski jumps straight to Gaborik's line

Newest Ranger arrives in New York and gets right to work vs. Montreal

Tuesday, 01.11.2011 / 6:41 PM / News
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Wolski jumps straight to Gaborik\'s line

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Rangers Get Wolski in Trade with Phoenix

By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

Although he had arrived in New York only a few hours prior, and had just met his new coach moments before, the newest Ranger, winger Wojtek Wolski, took part in his introductory press conference around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon at Madison Square Garden, roughly two hours before warm-ups for this evening’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

“Maybe it’s better that I just jump into the game,” said Wolski. “It’s time to show how I can play. But I’m sure in the next couple of days we’ll speak about what the expectations are and what my role will be and how I am supposed to fit into the team. Tonight, I will just play.”

Wojtek Wolski
Rangers head coach John Tortorella confirmed that not only will Wolski dress for this evening’s contest, but he will skate with the team’s most dynamic offensive player, Marian Gaborik, on a top line centered by Artem Anisimov.

“We certainly will not get in his way offensively,” Tortorella said of Wolski, 24. “We want to see his skill. But he’s also going to be taught situational play, which we always do with our guys. He’s going to have to join in there, also. I am anxious to see him play.”

Wolski was acquired by the Rangers from Phoenix on Monday in exchange for veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival. Because of the fact he had struggled some with the Coyotes -- scoring just six goals after netting a career-best 23 a year ago -- Wolski was not surprised that he was traded yesterday.

And just as important, Wolski welcomed the opportunity to come to New York to play for the Rangers.

“I think I expected to be traded at some point,” said Wolski, who was born in Poland, but raised in Canada. “I didn’t expect it to be New York, but I am happy it was. I’m excited about being here.”

A former first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2004 draft, Wolski has twice reached 20 goals in the NHL. Last year, splitting the season between Colorado and Phoenix, he recorded a career-high 65 points.

As Tortorella said on Tuesday, it is obvious that the Rangers have added more skill to their team, while also adding another talented young player to the roster.

“I am definitely an offensive player,” said Wolski. “I like to create plays, create opportunities, for myself and my linemates. I have the ability to play on the power play and to score big goals. And I have come to realize that playing better in my defensive zone benefits me offensively.”

If Wolski can play to his own scouting report, Tortorella and the Rangers will be more than happy with their most recent acquisition.