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03-15-2011, 01:27 PM
Change is good.
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The Wolski/Dubinsky dichotomy

[I started to write this in the prospects thread in response to a post there, but I didn't want to take it too far OT, so I've moved it here instead.]

I really don't understand the sudden subtle movement to trade Wolski. It's like every player we get whose first priority is to make skilled offensive plays with the puck rather than to mash the other team's players into the boards is instantly the guy pushed out in all proposed trades and salary cap projections.

Since he was acquired, Wolski has had some off nights. He's also had some nights where he was the Rangers' most dangerous player on the ice. More importantly, the Wolski-Stepan-MZA line has consistently made things happen.

Is he a sure-fire hall of famer? Of course not. Is it a red flag that two other teams have traded him already at his young age? Sure. Would I move him in the right deal? In a heartbeat. But he's a talented forward who's actually displaying some consistency on a team that lacks both talent and consistency.

In the 27 games since Wolski was acquired, he has accumulated 5-11-16 and been a +12. During that stretch he hasn't had a scoreless streak of longer than 2 games and has had a grand total of only 2 games as a minus. Meanwhile Dubinsky, whom everyone lauds as an integral part of the core, has played 22 games over that same time period, contributing a whopping 4-5-9 and been a singularly unimpressive -5... despite getting about 5 more minutes of TOI every night. Worse, he's had a scoreless streak of 8 games and been a minus 8 different times.

I bring up Dubinsky a lot because I feel he gets a ridiculous amount of slack from most of the posters on this forum. He is inconsistent. He does not have elite offensive skills. He is a mediocre puck distributor. But we drafted him, he is physical in the corners, drops the gloves occasionally and talks smack about Crosby - so he's basically untradeable. Meanwhile, many posters would move Wolski for pick or two just to free up space so a prospect can get a shot.

Now, let's be clear - I believe that Dubinsky is a very good player. The other things he does that don't show up on the scoreboard absolutely do have value. In the posts I have made over the last year or so where I have suggested he could be moved in the right deal, I have always made it clear that it would have to be for a legit first line forward. And I recognize that he has the opportunity to get more consistent and will likely increase his offensive output as he matures.

Everyone agree with me so far? Okay, now consider that Wolski is all of 2 months older than Dubi. There is a serious a double standard here and it just doesn't make sense to me. At the end of the day, the object of the game is to put the puck in the net more times than the opposition does - and by every measurable category Wolski has been significantly better at helping the team to do that than Dubinsky has since the trade. Yet, Dubinsky isn't moveable at any cost while Wolski is fast on his way to becoming the next Eric Christensen in most people's minds. I just don't get it.

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