On Tuesday night the Phoenix Coyotes traded forward Wojtek Wolski for New York Rangers' defenseman, Michal Rozsival in a move that should benefit both teams. The Coyotes are so much better offensively, and worse defensively, this year than they were last year and the misfiring Wolski was finding it hard to get more ice time. The Rangers have just lost Frolov for the rest of the season and need some offensive talent for back up.
Wolski is young and has undoubted talent. What he managed in the latter half of last season for the Coyotes was remarkable. He was scoring at a rate of a point per game and continued his good form into the playoffs. However, this year, he has struggled to find any sort of consistency and sits towards the bottom of the Coyotes pack with only six goals and 10 assists in 36 games. He was a player in need of a big game or a move and due to a lack of ice time, he got the latter.
Rozsival is a veteran defenseman and brings more experience to the Phoenix blue-line He will be a great mentor for the younger guys such as Ekman-Larsson, Yandle and Schlemko, although Yandle is having the best season of all the Coyotes' defensemen so far and looks to have matured a lot since last season. Rozsival also has the ability to put up points and score goals as well, something so crucial to the Phoenix organisation, who play defensively and look to their blue-line to contribute along with the forwards.
Rozsival also brings depth to the Coyotes defence that has, at times, looked a little prone to making mistakes. This is especially the case for the younger defensemen. Of course, making mistakes is all part of the learning process, but Phoenix did need another experienced defenseman who, by and large, knows his trade inside out and will not make as many errors.
Phoenix could do with another player built in the Rozsival mould, who is perhaps a little younger and speedier on the ice. I like the look of Joni Pitkanen to fill that role. Whether the franchise can acquire such a player is another matter, but the Yotes should have plenty of cap space if they do go for a big signing.
The 'Yotes also still need a sniper as Stempniak, despite scoring in the last game, has not been putting up the points and goals he should. Doan, Korpikoski and Upshall are all around the 10 goals mark so it's not like players aren't contributing, the 'Yotes just need someone to come in and light the lamp for 82+ games.
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