Games Played: 22
Wojtek Wolski was acquired just a couple of days before the trade deadline hit this past season. I for one was very optimistic about Wolski coming to the Panthers to hopefully give them another scoring threat. For the better part of his journey here with the Panthers, I was right.
Wolski spent most of the 2011-2012 season with the New York Rangers organization but only got to play in 9 regular season games. In those 9 games he had 3 points, all assists. Wolski was a very strong player earlier in his career. Back in the 2009-2010 season, Wolski totaled 65 points in 80 games with the Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes. But once he left the Colorado Avalance, things just were not the same for him. In Phoenix he had trouble registering points and was traded to the New York Rangers during the 2011 season where he had some success. But once again coming off a strong season, he had trouble finding ice time. Wolski has called home to 4 different teams in 3 years.
In Wojtek Wolski’s first game in a Panther uniform, he scored his first goal of the season and it ended up being the game tying goal, which the Panthers eventually won in overtime. So right off the back, he came up clutch for the Panthers. For the majority of the month of March, Kris Versteeg was out with an injury that kept him out for quite sometime. Wolski has put into the top line with Flash and Weiss, and for a stretch of about 2 weeks, we saw glimpse’s of the old Wolski. In his first 11 games with the club, he registered 8 points and really helped pave the way to a strong March to the Playoffs. But once Kris Versteeg got back into the lineup, Wolski stopped producing.
In the final 11 regular season games, Wolski only managed to register one point. A goal vs. Montreal on March 27th, was his last point of the season. Wolski saw action in only two playoff games and was a healthy scratch for the other 5. I think having Wolski was a good pick up that Dale Tallon made during the trade deadline. He made an impact for the first dozen games but started to wonder off once he was taken away from the top line. Overall in his 24 game tryout with the Panthers, he got 9 points, 4 goals and 5 assists.
Final Grade: C+. I know Wolski did not play a whole lot in the playoffs, but his play was really strong at the beginning. He really helped fill a big hole with Kris Versteeg out of the lineup, and he knew that once Versteeg would be back he’d have to take a back seat. Overall, I don’t see Wolski coming back with the Panthers this year as he is in his final year of his contract and is probably going to be put into free agency once again. With so many young guys looking for roster spots next year, I think Wolski might be one of the players on the outside looking in and joining this club next season.