Photo credit: Christian Petersen
The Capitals have signed left winger Wojtek Wolski to a one-year deal worth $600,000. Wolski played for the New York Rangers last season, and is known as player with a great deal of offensive upside who has a reputation for off nights and careless play. At his best, he’s a twenty-goal scorer. At worst, he could find himself in the press box for a good part of the year. For a player signed at just $100,000 over league minimum, Wolski is a low risk signing with potentially high reward.
Wolski was born in Zabrze, Poland and is the only Polish player active in the NHL. We know you’re all wondering — it’s pronounced VOY-tek VOHL-skee, but we are already desperately hunting for a more convenient nickname. He is a former first-rounder drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, playing for them for his first five NHL seasons, even rooming with Matt Hendricks during that time. Wolski was charged with assault right before the draft, but the case was dismissed when it was learned that the young man he assaulted had pushed his girlfriend off a porch.
Wolski has one twenty-two goal season under his belt, but that scoring has slowly diminished over his career until his two-year, $7.8 M contract seemed like a massive overpayment. Wolski spent part of the 2011-12 season with the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate the Connecticut Whale, before being traded at deadline to the Florida Panthers, where he only chipped in five points.
The Caps are likely looking to fill a massive hole with this signing — namely, the talented, floating forward who makes us pull our hair out and yell obscenities at the television. He’s also as a shootout specialist, so basically at this point any goalie facing a shootout against the Capitals should just give up and go home.
Wolski has expressed his excitement to be headed to Washington, calling last season a “nightmare” and looking for a bounce-back year with the Capitals. He intends to show that he’s “a great player with a lot of life left in me.”