While Gaborik has eight goals and nine assists, he scored five of those goals in two games in January and has been largely invisible most of the season.
There's plenty of rumblings that Gaborik might be available. As Elliotte Friedman of CBCSports reported:
The Rangers do the Rick Nash trade 100 times out of 100, but that deal and other losses (Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko) robbed them of depth. The reason Gaborik might (and that's the key word: might) be available is the return could replace that depth. But the only way New York does anything with him is if the move really improves the team.
Gaborik makes a hearty $7.5 million, which serves as an impediment toward any deal. However, the Rangers have needs. And if they can use Gaborik to fill those needs, they might pull the trigger. As Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported:
The Blueshirts covet a right-handed, top-four blueliner and would also like to add a couple of bottom-six, grinding type forwards.
If Gaborik can be flipped in any trade to get those assets, I believe the Rangers would move him.
Gaborik has a limited no-trade clause, so getting rid of him isn't easy. But if they can fill the needs, it might be worth it.
Where should the Rangers look to trade Gaborik?
We play GM and tell you the best options for a trading partner for the Rangers.
The Dallas Stars are currently two points out of a playoff spot. However, if they do not make progress in the standings, they could become sellers at the trade deadline.
They have some good assets, too. According to The Hockey News,
Still, if the Stars fail to gain ground by the trade deadline, there's a growing sense GM Joe Nieuwendyk will ship out pending unrestricted free agents Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow.
The most appealing of that group is Jagr and Morrow.
Jagr is the one who is most familiar with Rangers fans, as he spent three-and-a-half seasons in New York and scored 124 goals in 277 games. At 41, Jagr is not the same player he once was, but he's still an effective player, as he's scored 10 goals and has eight assists thus far this season.
Jagr would represent a huge upgrade on a woeful power play, as well as add valuable scoring depth. The Rangers need more offense, and despite his age, Jagr could provide that.
Morrow would be a perfect fit for the Rangers. The winger is a gritty player who can play on the first or third line. He forechecks, kills penalties and can score goals.
Gaborik would probably thrive in Dallas, where he wouldn't have the glaring lights of New York and wouldn't have to stay disciplined in a defense-first system.
A trade of Gaborik for Brenden Morrow and perhaps defenseman Stephane Robidas would benefit both sides.
Iginla would be a great fit for the Rangers. He's a gritty player who also has offensive talent. Iginla has scored seven goals and has 12 assists this season.
The trade may not be just Gaborik for Iginla. The Flames could include someone like Steve Begin—a gritty defensive forward—or defenseman Cory Sarich.
This deal would benefit both sides. The Flames could get an elite talent to replace Jarome Iginla, and he would fit well with Jiri Hudler.
Iginla would give the Rangers depth on offense and someone who is more natural on defense than Gaborik is.
It's a simple deal, but one that would be pretty fair for both sides.
The St. Louis Blues might be willing to trade Chris Stewart. If they are, the Rangers could be a good fit.
According to TSN, Stewart is definitely on the block:
"Stewart's name is out there, and when a name like that surfaces based on how well he's played this year and he continues to produce, then you know that there's an expected high level of return," Dreger explained. "St. Louis and Doug Armstrong have been looking for a defenceman since basically the start of the year."
Stewart would be a great fit for the Rangers. The 6'2" winger has 13 goals and 13 assists so far this season.
The one potential snag to a Stewart-for-Gaborik swap would be that the Blues want a defenseman. The Rangers need defense, too.
A potential deal that would satisfy both parties could look something like this: The Rangers would trade Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto to the Blues for Chris Stewart and Roman Polak.
It would give the Blues a top-four defenseman, as well as a top scorer to replace Stewart.
The Rangers would get a top scorer who plays a rugged style and a defenseman who is solid in his own end.
This seems like a win-win for both sides. The only question is if it will happen.