There is a lot of talk around the NHL on the future of Marian Gaborik. Many rumors indicate that Gaborik, Minnesota's best offensive player, will be traded soon. I'm here to tell you he won't be leaving Minnesota anytime soon.
Gaborik posted more than 80 points and 40 goals last season, franchise and personal season records. He is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL and can move the puck very well.
That is all great, but problems with his groin have kept him out of lineup most of this season. Two seasons ago, Gaborik missed 34 games with a groin injury and has had consistent problems in years past.
Lets look at why Minnesota wont be trading Gaborik...at least not yet.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Gaborik rejected several offers from the Wild. The newspaper reported those contracts could have been worth $9-10 million a year. Another report suggested one offer was a multi-year $85 million contract, so it is evident Gaborik is looking for some more money.
It is in my belief that Minnesota bought out Mark Parrish not necessarily for his poor point production, but to make room to re-sign Gaborik. Parrish was recently signed as a free agent by Dallas and, in his debut, recorded a hat-trick.
If Gaborik has rejected those offers from Minnesota, how much is he looking for? Better yet, who has the salary cap room or the will to spend that kind of money?
One specific rumor that had been floating around the league was the possibility of Gaborik going to Montreal. Montreal is a solid team and a contender to go far into the playoffs. But in order to acquire Gaborik in a trade Montreal has to give up a few things too, and few believe Montreal would be willing to give a lot for Gaborik.
Marian Gaborik has consistently had health issues, specifically with his groin and right leg. This season he has only appeared in two games and continues to nurse what the team is calling a "lower body injury."
Gaborik has missed considerable playing time in three of the past seven seasons, and with this season it would be four out of eight.
On average in those seasons he was injured Gaborik missed roughly 15-20 games. The worst turn out was in the 2006-2007 season where Gaborik only appeared in 48 of 82 games.
On a front office prospective, with Gaborik injured he has no worth. Minnesota cannot trade Gaborik because teams do not want a high-paid player sitting on the bench injured. Yes Gaborik has potential and even in those seasons where he missed considerable time he put up a lot of points.
Minnesota, if they are going to trade a high-caliber offensive player, would like to get something in return but they would get nothing of value in return.
Gaborik would qualify in my book as a trade that would help propel a team far into the playoffs and into the Stanley Cup Finals. He would be that final piece of the puzzle a team needed to reach the Stanley Cup.
A good example of that would be Pittsburgh last season acquiring Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers. He helped Pittsburgh reach the finals, but eventually lost to the Detroit Red Wings.
Gaborik would fit in with almost any NHL team, but his past playoff performances have put doubt in his ability to be effective in the playoffs.
In Minnesota's playoff run last year, Gaborik only posted one point in the entire series against Colorado after putting up record numbers in the regular season including a five goal game against the New York Rangers in January.
If a team is going to spend lots of money, they are going to want to see that he is healthy and can produce points not only in the regular season but also in the playoffs, and so far Gaborik has proved the opposite.
Minnesota needs Gaborik to get back on the ice quick for two reasons. One is to help an already injury-stacked lineup for Minnesota and to help provide some much needed offense that has cooled down since the start of the season. Second is that if Minnesota is looking to trade Gaborik, then the Wild are going to need him to be valuable before Minnesota can't do anything and possibly lose him to free agency come the season's end.
So don't look for Gaborik to go any sooner than before the trade deadline; it will be a shock if he goes any time sooner than that. If he continues to be injured I would expect Minnesota to not be able to trade him, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season.
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