Wojtek Wolski called his signing with the Washington Capitals over the summer a “crossroads” of his NHL career. The forward is trying to right his path now after things went wrong with the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers.
Wolski spent most of last season with the Rangers before getting shipped to the Florida Panthers just before the deadline. As he looks back at just 46 games with New York, the 26-year-old wishes “it would’ve went a little better.”
“Most of my time spent there was doing rehab and trying to come back from injury,” Wolski said Saturday as the Caps prepared to visit the Rangers Sunday. “It was tough. I love the city, though. I love being in New York City. I’d love to at some point maybe live there again. But it definitely was short and wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be.”
Wolski was a scrap-heap pickup by the Panthers last February after putting up just three assists in nine games with the Rangers. But he wasn’t surprised the Rangers dealt him, given how badly his season started.
“It was a tough situation,” Wolski said. “I came in at the beginning of the season, I felt great. I really worked hard during the summer, and it just seemed like the timing wasn’t right, right off the bat. Exhibition games I was already battling stuff with my groin and my lower ab.
“Then I did the surgery and the surgery gave a lot of guys opportunity on the left side that they called up. They played well and that’s part of the game. If someone gets an opportunity and they do well, you can’t expect them to be pulled out.”
Wolski played six games to start the year, the last of which came Nov. 3. At that point the Rangers called up enigmatic left wing Sean Avery from the Connecticut Whale before eventually striking gold with rookie Carl Hagelin.
“It didn’t work out,” Wolski said, “but it gave me an opportunity in Florida and then to come here.”