I am a Wojtek Wolski fan.
Most Avalanche fans on the blogosphere complain about his laziness, or is inconsistency, or his whatever.
But he's 24-years-old and is on-pace for about a 20-point improvement from last year. He's still a few years away from entering his prime, and if he lives up to his potential, he's going to be more than a point-per-game player.
In response to trade speculation about Kovalchuk, I wrote this about Wolski in January:
At just 23-years-old, Wolski has stepped up in a big way this year. With 45 points in 51 games, Wolski is just five away from his career high. He already has two more goals than last season, and his +/- has gone from a minus 13 to a plus 14. Though Avalanche fans consistently get on him for what appears to be a "lack of effort," Wolski has responded well to a couple benchings this year and even had his first fight a few games ago. In six years, it's unlikely he'll be an Ilya Kovalchuk, but he has all the tools to dominate as an NHL left winger.Had the Avs gotten a difference maker back, I may be looking at this trade differently; instead,in comes Mueller and Porter.
Had you watched a Coyotes game before this trade, you would have undoubtedly forgotten that Mueller was in the lineup. In 54 games this season, Mueller has 4 goals and 13 assists.
4. Stinking. Goals.
This is down from 13 last year, and 22 in his rookie season. Mueller and Wolski are actually very similar. Both were hyped up when they came into the league, and both have failed to prove their advocates right.
Porter is an interesting player in the deal. He was taken in the 4th round of the 2004 Draft and went on to play four years in college. In 2008, he won the Hobey Baker. He did play 34 games with the Coyotes last season, racking up an impressive (not) 5 goals and 5 assists. This season, he's played four games and has no points to speak of.
Oh...I left out that he's a center. We so need one of those!
Interestingly, the Avs play the Coyotes Thursday night.
Oh crap. Lee Stempniak to Phoenix. Nice day for them.
My biggest problem with the deal is that it does nothing to help the Avs in the playoffs this season. I'm all for building for the future, but it's not like Tucker or Salei were involved in this deal. We traded youth for youth. That's all well and good, but it would have been nice if it could have made major difference in April and May.
To play Wolski out, here's a video from Hockey Day in Canada, previously postedo on this blog: