Making Moves - Was It the Right Decision?

By: Stacey Gerhart

Well…its official…the Avalanche announced today that our beloved #8 has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Kevin Porter and Peter Mueller…and all I feel is disappointment.
Wojtek Wolski had certainly been in a bit of a slump for the past couple of months but he was an established player with 47 points so far this season (sitting second in total points behind Paul Stastny), and he had a multitude of experience to share with the younger members of the team. And although his shootout scoring abilities have been few and far between this season – let us not forget the amazing, game-winning shots he put past a number of goalies last season! In fact, he scored on 10 out of 12 shootout attempts – setting a single season record.
Wolski was drafted in 2004 by the Avalanche and made his debut during the playoffs in 2006, where he scored three goals.
Although his performance has been lacking at times this season, I think it was too soon for the Avalanche to let him go.
We are already in a great spot for the playoff push and after attending the game against the Red Wings on Monday night – I must say that Wolski was not the only player that needed to step-up their game.
The first period against the Red Wings was embarrassing to say the least – making it appear that the Olympic break was not at all helpful for the Avs – they certainly looked rusty. They had a very hard time gaining the zone and passing; and during the power play, they couldn’t keep the puck in the zone to save their lives.
It was a relief to see the team come back out with a vengeance in the second period and after Stewart tied-up the game I was extremely hopeful that at the end of the night all of the Red Wings fans in attendance would be leaving with their tails between their legs. Unfortunately, play during the third period resembled that of the first and the Red Wings came back to seal the deal, and I ended up being the one leaving the Pepsi Center with my head down.
The playoffs are fast approaching and right now the Avs are sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference but the points are frighteningly close and if the Avs don’t start playing with more skill and vigor they might find themselves watching the playoffs from home this year.
With Wolski now off of the roster and the possibility of the return of both Hejduk and Cumiskey, there is a lot of shuffling and readjusting that needs to be done by the coaching staff – hopefully they will figure it all out before it’s too late. And where Wolski is concerned – well, I just hope they made the right decision.
Best of luck in Phoenix #8 – I enjoyed watching you play!

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