« Florida Panthers Add Depth, Trade 6th Round Pick to Predators for Jarred Smithson | Main | Wojtek Wolski Needs Panthers Gear; Fits In Just Fine as Cats Drop Canes 3-2 in SO »

Florida Panthers Stay Busy Before Deadline, Add Wojtek Wolski in Deal with New York Rangers

WolskiRALEIGH -- The Panthers continued to add forward depth on Saturday afternoon after acquring winger Wojtek Wolski from the Rangers.

Florida sent a third round pick in 2013 and San Antonio defenseman Mike Vernace to the Blueshirts. 

Wolski is on his way to Raleigh now and should be in the lineup against the Hurricanes.

Jarred Smithson -- picked up Friday for a sixth round pick -- was the first non-goalie on the ice for Saturday's morning skate and should be on a line with short-time Nashville teammate Mike Santorelli tonight.

Florida sent Michal Repik back to San Antonio before the morning skate; would expect Jon Matsumoto to be following suit soon enough.

The Panthers get a shootout specialist who has shown he can score at the big level in Wolski.

Slowed by injuries this year, Wolski has no goals in nine games with the Rangers -- who were desperate to clear some cap space before the deadline.

Wolski has 22 goals on 51 shootout attempts in his career. Those 22 goals are tied for 11th in the league since the shootout came into existance in 2005-06. Pavel Datsyuk and Carolina's Jussi Jokinen both lead with 30 apiece.

For Florida, shootouts have been a major concern since, well, 2005-06.  

Wolski hasn't done much scoring, but as I said before, he has in the past.

In his rookie season with the Avs in 2006-07, Wolski had what became a career-high 22 goals with 28 helpers.

In his first four full-time seasons with the Avs from 2006-10, Wolski had 71 goals in 293 games. Since being traded to Phoenix (and later the Rangers), Wolski has all of 18 goals in 100 games.

He does have eight goals and nine assists in 27 playoff games.

And, last year's salary dump is a memory.

Florida adds over $1 million in true salary with this move as Wolski carries a $3.8 million cap hit.

Wolski, believe it or not, makes $4 million this year in salary which is the same as Stephen Weiss as the two are the second-highest paid forwards on the team behind Tomas Fleischmann.

EDIT: He is an unrestricted free agent after this year.