The New York Rangers shed some salary cap issues and a player that really wasn’t going to play for them again in sending Wojtek Wolski to Florida in exchange for career minor-leaguer, Michael Vernace. The 25-year old defenseman is not exactly a game changer, but he will provide Ken Gernander with more depth on the blueline.
Here’s the official release:
RANGERS ACQUIRE A THIRD ROUND PICK IN 2013 AND DEFENSEMAN MICHAEL VERNACE
Send Forward Wojtek Wolski to Florida
New York, February 25, 2012 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired a third round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and defenseman Michael Vernace from Florida in exchange for forward Wojtek Wolski.
Vernace, 25, has split the season between the San Antonio Rampage and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering two goals and 14 assists for 16 points, along with 30 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 44 games. He was traded to Florida, along with James Wright, from Tampa Bay in exchange for Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg on December 2, 2011. Vernace ranks third among San Antonio defensemen in assists and points, and is tied for second with one power play goal. He has recorded two multi-point performances this season, including a two-goal effort on October 22 vs. Binghamton and a career-high, three assists on October 29 at Syracuse.
Vernace has skated in 348 career AHL games with Albany, Lake Erie, Chicago, Hamilton, Norfolk, and San Antonio, registering 18 goals and 97 assists for 115 points, along with 288 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in assists (26) and points (29) with Lake Erie in 2007-08, and established a career-high in goals (seven) with Norfolk in 2010-11. Vernace has also skated in 22 career regular season games with the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning, registering one assist and 10 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut with Colorado on March 17, 2009, at Minnesota, and recorded his first NHL point with an assist on February 15, 2011, vs. Philadelphia as a member of the Lightning.
The Toronto, Ontario native was originally selected by the San Jose Sharks as a seventh round choice, 201st overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Wolski, 26, has registered three assists in nine games with the Rangers this season. He was acquired by the Rangers from Phoenix in exchange for Michal Rozsival on January 10, 2011.