Gaborik playing for his Rangers future

March 16, 2013, by
Marian Gaborik's Rangers future on shaky ground

Marian Gaborik’s Rangers future on shaky ground

Marian Gaborik hasn’t exactly torn up the league this season. With a very up and down campaign the Slovakian winger’s future with the Rangers is very much up in the air, something that beat writer Andrew Gross has also speculated on this week. While Gaborik is among the Rangers’ leading point scorers his production, based on his age, expectancy, and most importantly his salary cap hit is underwhelming to put it mildly. When you’re pulling down $7.5 million per season you need to deliver more than a game here and a game there.

Gaborik is just one of the problems that this Rangers team is facing at the moment. The team in its entirety seems stuck in neutral unable to get sustained, consistent performances out of anyone not named Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan, or Rick Nash. The reason this team is battling for its playoff lives is that the vast majority of the roster is under performing, and that begins and ends with Gaborik (and Brad Richards).

It’s Gaborik’s contract situation however that makes his future very uncertain. With just a year on his contract and still just months removed from his latest 40-goal season, Gaborik is an intriguing piece for the Rangers to look to move, and for many teams to look to acquire. Gaborik is talented enough to be the great white hope to many fan bases while his cap hit could be better spent (again, given his current form) by the Rangers. Perhaps the only thing stopping him being actively shopped is the presence of a no trade clause, in which he presented the team with a list of eight teams he will accept a trade to.

The Rangers could look to move Gaborik, and if rumours are true that they’ve begun to sniff around guys such as Mike Ribeiro, given his cap hit, then maybe the Rangers are indeed looking to remove a significant cap hit of their own – hence Marian Gaborik speculation. Moving Gaborik also opens up options, specifically acquiring guys who are not on expiring contracts.

Gaborik is remarkably talented and regardless how this season ends, he’s been a solid addition for the Rangers since Glen Sather enticed him out of Minnesota. But it appears a divorce before his contract is up looks likely. What would make it more likely is if a player such as Corey Perry would make it to free agency. A winger who is more likely to hit the corners hard, play physical, and be more suited to coach Tortorella’s concept, Perry would be an ideal addition but would only be remotely possible with Gaborik out of the equation.

If the Rangers feel their season is slipping away from them, they may even consider moving Gaborik during this season. While the Rangers are unlikely to be ‘sellers’ to any great extreme (Would this fan base allow it? Not to mention it’s not needed), it would be a disaster if the club missed the playoffs with no first round draft pick. Gaborik should retain some solid value given his entire package and situation as well as the inflated prices at deadline day. It’s interesting, because there are already rumblings that the Rangers are willing to move Gaborik if they can make the team better and deeper.

Gaborik still has a chance to re-establish himself among the Rangers, with the fan base and the organisation. He’s still a quality player capable of ripping off prolonged scoring streaks and carrying teams offensively, but it needs to start now. With a Rangers season full of expectation very much in the balance, how Marian Gaborik ends it will decide so much for himself and the Rangers roster going forward.

Categories : Players


  1. Mikeyyy says:

    Your right maybe some other team can properly utilize one of the fastest and dangerous shooters in the nhl who also posted two 40 goal seasons in his last 3.

    One of those seasons he played through a concussion…

    Reality check….Richards is the amnesty buyout….or trade bait.

    How about this for a change. Instead of asking gabby to go to the corners, which he does better than Richards, how about asking him to find a seam in the slot and get the puck to him….

    Or would you rather have Richards with his no look passes into the other teams sticks for breakaways…

    Funny thing is, we had a winning streak going after Richards got injured. I think he needs to watch a few games from the press box and let step and miller run the top two lines.

    But really?

    So you rather keep the savvy scoring veteran who hasn’t had a good season in New York vs a speedster who’s tougher than Richards and scores more?

    Torts asked for Richards to come to New York, if Richards can’t find his game, then they both need to go.

    Prediction, rangers miss the playoffs, Richards gets bought out, and torts goes back to broadcasting.

    And Sam has the last laugh. I don’t care who you are, but you don’t talk to Rangers icon like Sam and get away with it….respect the logo torts. Respect.

    • Walt says:

      At this stage of the season, and with the lack of production, Gabby can bring us a 1st round pick, and a quality player as well.

      Let’s face it, the man has been played out of position, and it has affected his game. Get Step, Nash, and Callie together. Let Gabby skate with Richards, and Pyatt, and see what happens. If he doesn’t respond. then dump him, and get some assets in return.

      Richards should be the buy out after the season, and rebuild from there!!!!! With Perry as a possible signing, and using Miller as a center, we can move from there.

      • Dave says:

        They won’t be dumping him in a sell mode. They would only trade him if he can get a good return to make this team better today.

        • Walt says:


          I said a #1 pick, and a quality player in return. The man needs a change of seen, and or play his normal wing. I don’t know if Torts is playing mind games with Gabby, I hope not, because in spite of this post, I am a fan of his!!

          • Dave says:

            They would want two guys they can insert into the lineup right away. A draft pick does them no good. This is their window to win. Hank isn’t getting younger.

  2. Jamie says:

    Put Stepan/Nash/Hagelin back together.

    Feels like Torts broke up that line in hopes of getting Richards and Gaborick going. That backfired – R & G are still asleep, and our other units are weaker.

    With Stepan/Nash/Hags at least we have one good line that can do something besides give the puck away.

    • Dave says:

      Torts is in a tough spot. He knows the Stepan/Nash/Hagelin line works, but it’s the only line that works. They need another line to score, and he’s trying to find that other line.

  3. Chris F says:

    While I’m not accusing you guys here at BSB of this, as you’ve been tremendously supportive of Gaborik, I think the criticism of him is unfair. Yes, he’s in a slump, but should the Rangers deal him? Absolutely not.

    This is a player who was thought to be a liability because of his susceptibility to injury. Yet, in his first 3 seasons with NY he missed only 26 games, racking up 210 points (including 105 goals) in 220 games. He’s been the Rangers best offensive player since Jagr. He’s earned somewhat of a leash to struggle through this slump. Gaborik is not the problem with this team, though his poor numbers this season are a sore spot for fans of a struggling team with high expectations.

    I love Tortorella, but I have to admit, his unyielding insistence that all players operate within the same system is not conducive to bringing the best out of the entire roster. Last year, it’s true, the team lacked the skill to compete at the highest level, and so Torts demanded sacrifice, physicality and grit from everyone up and down the lineup. But, this year, with the infusion of new talent (Nash, Miller, Hagelin, etc). Torts need to distinguish between skill players and grinders, setting different roles for different skill-sets.

    Gaborik, Hagelin, Nash, Stepan, Miller need to be allowed some room for creativity. Let them off their leashes so they can produce. You can’t demand that players like Gaborik get down to block shots and ride the boards. They need to be allowed some space to make plays. He’s stifling the talent he has this year by insisting the team play as it did last year. A different team, a different year, calls for adjustments.

    Gaborik can, and I think will, return to form, but he needs some support from the coaching staff and he needs to be allowed to play his game. He has 17 points in 26 games this year; not horrible, but needs to be much better. He can do this with the proper amount of latitude.

    I truly hope to see him around for the next couple of seasons.

    Richards, on the other hand, has wore out his welcome. I’ve seen so little from him since his arrival. He had a handful of clutch goals last year, including the playoffs, but his contract is thoroughly undeserved.

    • Dave says:

      I think they are in one of those situations where if trading Gaborik can help the team, they will do so. They aren’t going to dump him for prospects and picks, they will want NHL players. It’s all about the right deal.

    • Sally says:

      When Tortorella was in Tampa, their motto was “safety is death”.
      That does not seem to be the motto of this year’s Rangers. They are playing like they are afraid to make a mistake.

      I agree that he hasn’t changed his game plan to fit his roster. Maybe because of the shortened season? I do think something needs to change because the first line is giving up too many goals.

      • Dave says:

        Defenses have adjusted. This isn’t 2004 anymore, post-lockout hockey has changed. What worked then won’t work now, and it’s why adjustments had to be made. Safe is death doesn’t work anymore.

    • Walt says:


      It all goes back to playing Gabby in his normal position. Why tinker with a proven scorer, he is a streaky player we know that, but this is getting old. It falls on the lap of Torts, and his thick skull!

      Torts just can’t leave well enough alone, plays a line for 2, maybe 3 shifts, and if they don’t score, boom, wholesale changes with the lines. How in the hell is anyone ever going to develop any chemistry when you don’t skate with each other for more than 3 shifts???

      As for Richards, he will be gone this summer. Bad decision to sign him for so much, and then he just doesn’t produce.

    • rickyrants13 says:

      Torts must go for one. And Gabby doesnt get injured because he isnt playing hard anymore.

      • Dave says:

        About this whole “Torts must go” stuff that we hear from pretty much everyone: Everyone thought that Quenneville lost the Hawks last year.

        • rickyrants13 says:

          Sometimes you get it wrong. But we have seen this way too many times. Most of the time when it gets to this point its over. Lets face it Messier is not our Captain anymore.

  4. ranger17 says:

    Agree with you Chris about Gabby . Also would like to see them bring Kreider back up and put him with Miller and Hags and let them fly .Can you just see how Gretzki would have turned out if Torts was his first coach, and was told you need to block shots and play D or you are going to sit .Gabby has always had 40 goal seasons every other year . So if we need to wait 1 more year for the Cup so be it .Torts is a good coach but some players just don,t play good D and never will . Take Kreider he plays a very soft game for some one with his size , but on the right team and system he could be great , but i don,t think it will happen on this team and this system . I do think a line of 47-20-62 could be great if allowed to play to their strenths . Miller checks and see,s the ice well Hags gets to pucks and Kreider needs to find the open spots on the ice , just saying it couldn,t hurt to see if it would work, or you could switch Cally up with Hags and have 3 lines .
    Nash Step Hags
    Gabby BR Pyatt
    Kreder Miller Cally
    Haley Boyle Ashem/Halps
    This is only a blog and wouldn,t want Torts to see this and think he had to try something different.

  5. Pete says:

    The team tried a certain approach and it proved to be insufficient so during the offseason they made the Nash trade and went in another direction, this stuff takes time.

    In the cost vs. production Richards is a far bigger culprit than Gaborik, I mean really, wtf is going on with Brad?? Bright lights big city too much for him?

    • Dave says:

      He had 25 goals and 66 points last season. I think this is just a bad year, but next year will be the big test.

      • Pete says:

        Yes and even that was a somewhat disappointing year for him making this his second below average year. He has to better, no question.

  6. rickyrants13 says:

    Goalie down on h knees when th shooter is 40 ft away Does not stop the puck unless it hits you. That was really poor

  7. rickyrants13 says:

    We saw it today in Pitt Their anouncers were even saying it. Their players know where they are going to be on the Ice…

    Our players dont. And with this coach they never will…