Gaborik: A Necessary Risk

July 2, 2009, by

We all know the argument against Gaborik: He’s never healthy. I get it, we all get it, he’s injury prone. Enough already.

How many goals did the Rangers score last season?

How many goals left the team when Antropov, Gomez and Naslund left?

They NEEDED to sign someone of his caliber, someone who can create from absolutely nothing. Yes, Cammalleri is a great goal scorer, but he needs someone to feed him the puck. Ironically, once Gomez was dealt, the Rangers didn’t have that clear cut guy to feed him the puck. The more I think about it, Cammy wouldn’t have worked out. Hossa? Not for 12 years. Tanguay? See Cammy. Havlat? Even when healthy, not a 50 goal guy.

The moral of the story is that they needed Gaborik. End of story.

Gaborik’s initial contract demands? 10 years, $75 million. He got exactly half that. $7.5 million is market value for a player of his caliber, and it’s not a huge long term commitment, it’s 5 years.

You can say all you want about giving him a one-year deal, but ask yourself this, do you really think that Marian Gaborik, the most talented player in this year’s class of free agents, would accept a one-year deal? He wouldn’t, so there’s no point in complaining about that.

The end result here is that you replace Scott Gomez’s contract with Marian Gaborik’s contract, but instead of overpaying for a 2nd line center forced into 1st line duty, you are paying market value for a top-10 player. I say the Rangers come out on top here.

Two more aspects that are being missed: 1) If anyone can whip Gaborik into shape so that he doesn’t get hurt, it’s John Tortorella. 2) Donald Brashear’s presence will prevent anyone, and I mean anyone, from taking liberties and cheap shots at Gaborik.

Glen Sather deserves an A for his moves so far this offseason. He turned nothing into gold with Gomez, and he used that cap space to get a top-10 player without over-committing. The only thing keeping him from getting an A+ is that I really, really hate Donald Brashear. I won’t boo him, but I don’t have to cheer for him.

So I ask you this, what would you rather have? Gomez at $7.357 million, or Gaborik at $7.5 million.

The answer is clear.

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