I see a potential problem for the New York Rangers, something that the Islanders faced in the beginning of this season: Possibly losing a player to the waiver wire. Garth Snow could not trade Blake Comeau for a bag of pucks, no less a draft pick. So they had to put him on waivers, only for him to be picked up by the Calgary Flames, thus losing a third line forward. Granted, Comeau did nothing for the Islanders this year, but neither has anyone else on the third line.
Enter Wojtek Wolski, a player who has not seen a lot of time on a stacked Rangers team due to a groin injury and quite frankly has not developed a role with that team. His contract is big for a 25 year old (4 million per), so the Rangers hope is that he'll clear waivers and spend the rest of the season on the Connecticut Whale AHL team. If the Islanders want to make a push for a playoff spot, then they should pick him off waivers. A few reasons why:
1. Wolski can score. He's put up decent numbers in the NHL and like a few other players the Isles have on this team, he may just need a change of scenery and some real playing time. Plus with a young team, he may be more inspired to pick up his game. The Islanders could use more help in the scoring department then relying on just the first line and power play unit.
2. His salary. Yes it's 4 million, but if the Isles are out of the playoffs by the end of February, Garth Snow has more flexibility in payroll and could possibly move a few more players at the deadline.
3. He'll replace at least Tim Wallace in the lineup, who also has not scored a goal this year. I know most would love to see him replace Rolston, but that's up to the coach.
4. If Wolski does not perform well, the Islanders can release him in the off season. If he does find success on the Island, he would be at least 4 million to resign (probably for 1 year, see Grabner, Parenteau) so the Isles could reach the cap floor easier without getting Scott Gomez in the offseason and/or struggling/failing to make an attempt to get Dustin Penner.
5. It's the waiver wire, why wouldn't the Islanders. We've seen this before haven't we (Grabner)?
6. It would be nice to see the Islanders brass at least make some kind of an attempt to improve the roster this year to show fans that management is trying to improve the team during the season, not just in the summer.
So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the Islanders will take a stab at Wojtek Wolski if/when he goes on the waiver wire by the Rangers.