State of the Rangers

Rangers should keep hold of Gaborik, for now

Gaborik may not get moved this week, or at all. His future up in the air
Gaborik may not get moved this week, or at all. His future up in the air

Regardless of how productive (or unproductive) Marian Gaborik is throughout the remainder of this season, the Rangers would be best advised to hold on to the Slovakian winger until the off season.

With a glut of young forwards up and around the big club this season, and with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins comfortably ahead of the Rangers for this year’s race to the Cup, the Rangers hopes of playoff success this season rest with Henrik Lundqvist and a lot of luck. In short, the Rangers aren’t likely a real threat to the dominant two of the East, right now. Therefore, this season – without giving up on it (something no Ranger should advocate) – has become in part a trial of sorts for the younger players. All of which brings us back to Marian Gaborik.

With the arrival of Jesper Fast, the Rangers have Fast, JT Miller, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello -and in the minors Christian Thomas – all potentially vying for top six berths next season. That’s a lot of youth and offensive upside batting for just a few spots. With Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash the two certainties in the top six – on the wing – there’s a few spots to be battled for; although this isn’t considering the impressive merits of the flexible Carl Hagelin (who can play up and down the line up).

The best time to trade Marian Gaborik will be in the offseason. His current form means demand won’t be as high at the deadline and the return likely less satisfactory. Meanwhile Gaborik still offers the Rangers a better chance of success this season than Kreider or any of the other kids. In addition,once the cap has been reduced in the offseason and teams know what they have to play with, Gaborik’s offensive ability and one year on his contract make him a more appealing commodity. By this point, the Rangers will/ should know a lot more about the readiness of the group of young forwards at their disposal and the timing is simply not ideal now.

The Rangers have a chance at success this year, albeit a chance that looks unlikely at the moment, and the Kings keep representing what can happen if you squeeze in to the playoffs, but the Rangers need to carefully assess whether it’s in their best interests to move an asset like Gaborik at any stage. There’s still the chance he also plays next year with the Rangers.

While Mats Zuccarello played well Monday night, it was still just one game. With Miller and Kreider very up and down as the season has progressed (often literally) Gaborik still makes sense for the Rangers right now. Gaborik’s time may be drawing to a close as a Ranger but the team needs to be careful how – and when – they choose to move a still considerable asset.

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  • Coming into this season, Gaborik has been top three scorers in the NHL past three seasons. He isn’t slow, he hasn’t lost his skills — it’s an off season, that’s all. Generally, our fan base has under appreciated Gaborik’s contributions and performance since coming on board. If you step back and evaluate every player on the roster the past two seasons, nearly EVERY player (except for Cally, Stepan, and MDZ) have dropped off some this season. Maybe it was the strike; maybe it was the season last year where each player gave 110% and they simply can’t maintain that pace indefinitely. But, why the rush to off-load Gaborik? He’s carried the team offensively up until this season — we will be back to square one, searching for an elite goal scorer, once he is gone.

    • Agree with a lot of those points AD, but at the end of the day he’s a UFA next year and we could easily lose him for nothing. Add to the fact that every other season he’s injurred, having surgery, or just mentally not there. I appreciate what he’s brought to this team, I am by no means a hater, but you might as well try to get something for him (e.g. depth) if you can.

    • These are great points. I get the feeling that shoulder is still bothering him. But if Kreider, Miller, and Hagelin can replace his scoring, then there’s no problem with trading him for some much needed depth.

  • They is only so more ice time to go around. I rather see the younger players given a chance and move Gabs now. With his offensive production this year, he won’t be missed in the lineup.

  • If Clowe cost us two second round picks (potentially 3), Gabby should be able to net at least a 1st and a later throw in pick. Considering the the depth of this years draft class that may not such a bad return. I understand he has one more year left with a decent price tag but there might be a team with an “all-in now” mentality willing to take a chance on him.

    • The cost was a a 2nd, 3rd, and a conditional 2nd (5th if he doens’t re-sign or the Rangers fail to make the ECF).

      If they trade Gaborik, it won’t be for picks and prospects. It will be for something to help them win now.

    • If the Rangers unload Gaborik today, they have to get a defenseman in return, along with a 1st rounder.

      I wouldn’t be happy with any trade involving Gaborik today, but if it goes down, a roster player has to come to NY.

  • After reading this piece, it makes too much sense. If we can get a much greater return over the summer, or draft time, we should, for the benefit of the team long term, hold on to Gabby for now.

    With the #1 line being Cally-Step-Nash
    #2 Richards-Gabby-Clowe makes plenty of sense. Clowe can be the power forward, crash the net, and cover Richards back. This may be all that is needed to get the two dead heads moving once, and for all.
    #3 Boyle-Hags-MZA, two kids that can play decent offense, skate like hell, and two guys, Hags & Boyle that are defensivly sound.
    #4 line Powe-Asham-Pyatt, an energy line, at least Ashan, and Clowe, Pyatt is just going thru the motions.

    I’m not saying this will carry us to the promised land, but at least this gives both BR & MG a shot at having a decent last 10-14 games, with their butts covered by a man with heart!!

  • I still wonder if Gaborik’s shoulder is 100%. He converting only 7% of his shots when his career average is closer to 13. This may be who he is now after his surgery.

    • This. I’d like to see him back. Move Richards, who is this team’s Jason Bay. Addition by subtraction, give Gabby a summer for that shoulder to heal. He’s not himself; the drop-off has been too great.

  • Do we have a 1st or 2nd rd pick in this yrs draft?Oh we don’t.Did we lose a 3rd rd pick,Yes.It’s said to be a deep talent rich draft.If you can’t get a 1st and a high prospect for Gaborik the GM should be looked at.Clowe has Zero goals and a bum shoulder and look what we gave up.The Kings were red hot going into the playoffs and so was Quick.The Islanders are hot we aren’t.Play the kids and stop with the cup dreaming.I do like Clowe but that was a high price and a bad shoulder.

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