On a conference call yesterday, Gaborik said (via Ranger Rants) that he wasn’t having fun this season and that he doesn’t think the entire team was having fun.
On his relationship with John Tortorella, Gaborik said “There was nothing there for me. It was nothing personal. Sometimes we didn’t see eye-to-eye but that’s it. That’s hockey. Everybody goes through stuff like that with their coaches.”
He also said that he spoke with Vinny Prospal, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov about moving to Columbus
On Sportsnet, Jeff Marek, John Shannon and Brad May did a segment on whether Marian Gaborik is in play at the trade deadline.
Marek asked Shannon if he thought Gaborik was in play and Shannon said “no…..next question. Listen….$7.5 million, that is the reason. The other thing is that I know they aren’t scoring any goals in NY and I know that Marian Gaborik has under performed, but remember, this is a defense first team with John Tortorella running it and there is a lot more pressure on Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash to score goals. I don’t blame Gaborik at all for anything that has happened there, in fact what they should try to do is let him loose and let him go into the offensive zone.”
May said “This is a player with great offensive instincts that you can’t teach. When you are playing defense and that is your first mandate when back in the offensive zone, you are a lot slower. You are not anticipating, you are not cheating to those openings. When you are focusing on defense first you are not as quick going the other way.”
Shannon responded and said “remember, this guy learned the game in a Jacques Lemaire system so it’s not as if it is foreign to him. He can do the job on the defensive side, but this is a 40 goal scorer. That is talent that you can’t get rid of and they love it at Madison Square Garden. I just don’t see him going anywhere.”
May said “there is only one place, and I am making this up, the San Jose Sharks because of the rumors that Ryan Clowe, who would fit great with the Rangers, and Dan Boyle. If he did that it would be a package trade. If I was a GM I would want Marian Gaborik, but I would want a defenseman coming with him. Boyle and Clowe to NY.”
Shannon said “in the cap world that is dollar for dollar and actually makes some sense.”
4:43PM: Gaborik, via the Daily News, said today that the bottom line is that he needs to be better.
Gaborik said, “I have to make a difference, so I have to bring my game to another level, try to have something right away. I have to get going, be more engaged and get something going right away – if it’s a good play or a chance, I have to get my legs going right away and things can happen.”
4:12PM: According to Steve Zipay and Andrew Gross, Tortorella and Gaborik had a 12 minute chat during practice today with Tortorella doing most of the talking and Gaborik doing most of the listening.
Gaborik told Blue Notes that it was a “good conversation.”
3:18PM: After scoring five goals in seven games in January, Marian Gaborik has scored four goals in the last 26 games.
He had two in 12 games in February and has two in 14 games in March.
In the past two games, Gaborik has two shots on goal. In the two games prior, one of which he scored in, Gaborik had 13 shots on goal.
Gaborik has played about 15:40 in the past two games and was skating with Kris Newbury and Taylor Pyatt during Friday’s practice.
John Tortorella told the Daily News that Gaborik needs to move his legs. He added that Gaborik’s skills are “still there” and “he’s a really good player, but it’s just a matter of getting himself on track here. It starts with his legs.
Dave Maloney said of Gaborik recently, “he needs to take the bull by the horns and be the player he knows he can be. Gaborik needs to take responsibility for being the player he needs to be.”
Adam Rotter: Gaborik starting the game on the fourth line doesn’t mean he will spend the whole game there, but with his struggles, the fourth line could present a match up that he can take advantage of. John Tortorella, at least publicly and probably privately, is trying to build up Gaborik, but he has had him in the top six recently and Gaborik hasn’t produced. Mats Zuccarello is around and they need to see if he can spark anything.
I still don’t think the Rangers move Gaborik at the trade deadline and instead look to trade him around the draft.
In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes that while the Rangers are listening to offers for Marian Gaborik for a move at the trade deadline, the Rangers might be better off waiting to trade Gaborik until the offseason.
Adam Rotter: I think that the Rangers best opportunity to try and recoup some of their lost depth is by trading Gaborik in the offseason. They essentially need to look around the league and find a team that is in the same position that they were in last year.
The Rangers are only going to move Gaborik if they can make a “hockey trade” that that helps both teams in the short and long-term. Think Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk and not whatever the package the Flames will get for Jarome Iginla which will be based around a rebuild. The Rangers won’t move Gaborik for the sake of moving him and clearing him off their cap.
Last night on the NHL Network, via KK, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun sat with Kathryn Tappen to talk about the trade deadline.
On the Rangers, Darren Dreger said,”they have been disappointing this season, that’s obvious, and they are still trying to figure out if they fit with the contenders. They still have needs, a top-four defenseman who can help their power play and and in a perfect world add another level of grit, so a top nine forward.”
He adds “to do that, what are they willing to part with? They are looking at a Dan Boyle type of player from the Sharks who can certainly fit their need on the back end.”
On Marian Gaborik, Dreger says “it’s not that the Rangers are trying to push this guy out the door. They know that seven times in his career he has scored over 30 goals so they know he is a key component but they are getting calls on him. With a year left at $7.5 it might be surprising if he gets traded but San Jose and the Rangers seem to have a lot of dialogue going on.”
At ESPN Insider Craig Custance wrote about how teams are now able to absorb parts of contracts in trades and the impact it may have on this year’s trade deadline.
Custance says that the new rule has only been used once, when Toronto traded Matthew Lombardi back to Phoenix, but in speaking with Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton, it has been a topic of conversation during trade talks.
Gorton said that the ability to absorb salary is “valuable” and the Rangers are in the process of feeling out how the process works. He adds, “If there’s a money concern on one team and the other team has the ability to keep it, it’s significant. As we move forward it’s going to play a big role in player deals.”
Katie Strang wonders if the Sharks would do a trade of Boyle for Gaborik and thinks that it would be a good deal for the Rangers.
Scott Burnside added, “Pretty sure the Sharks are at their limit for overpaid, underachieving forwards aren’t they?”
In response, Strang said “Haha good point Scotty. Although he is coming off a 41-goal season. That’s the funny thing about Gaborik. For as much heat as he takes, his numbers aren’t bad. Just goes completely invisible at times. Such a streaky player”
LeBrun said that Sharks likely won’t want Gaborik’s cap hit of $7.5 million on their cap next season.