According to Bruce Garrioch, in the Ottawa Sun, Glen Sather is not happy with the Rangers inconsistent play so far this season and he is trying to do something that would shake up the team.
Something that isn’t an option, according to Garrioch, is firing coach John Tortorella, but he does note that Sather is considering moving Marian Gaborik who is a UFA after next season.
Garrioch says that in addition to more grit, the Rangers are also one of many teams looking for a defenseman as well.
Gaborik has a no-trade clause.
Adam Rotter: I am as big a fan of Gaborik as you can be, but when you look down the lineup and search for pieces that could bring back what the Rangers are missing, he seems to be the only one. With a lower cap coming, and nearly everyone’s contract coming due over the next two years, it’s hard to see how Gaborik fits into the long-term plan, especially with the money he will likely ask for.
The thing is, I can see Gaborik going for 40 goals next season easily and playing as well as he did last year. While the Rangers would certainly like to have that on their team, it’s probably better to let him do that for another team and have that team decide how much to give him in a new contract.
I don’t know if the Rangers will move Gaborik by the deadline, but I could definitely see a move at the draft where the Rangers pick up a defenseman and a top nine winger that essentially replaces Brandon Dubinsky at hopefully half the cost.
In terms of the return on Gaborik, or any other star player, Glen Sather has always said that never as high as the fans think it should be and “it’s the best you can do at the time.”
In 12 February games, Marian Gaborik had two goals and two assists, was a minus five, and averaged 18:38 per game.
In his first six February games, Gaborik had two goals and an assist, but he has just one point, an assist, in his past six games and his shot totals have been:
- 2/17: 6 (16:00)
- 2/19: 1 (20:28)
- 2/21: 7 (25:08)
- 2/23: 0 (11:03)
- 2/26: 3 (19:36)
- 2/28: 3 (14:12)
He skated on Thursday with JT Miller and Brian Boyle.
Last season in February, Gaborik had four goals and eight assists for 12 points. He had 20 points in 17 games in March.
John Tortorella spent part of the month talking about what he wanted to see from Gaborik and how he wants him to play.
11 of Gaborik’s 12 points have come at Madison Square Garden this season.
Tortorella spoke early in the season about how he thought Gaborik was maturing as a player.
Adam Rotter: Gaborik was around the net a lot last night and did some nice work with JT Miller and Brian Boyle. Around the net is where he needs to be and it’s where he has scored his goals over the past couple of years. If Miller and Boyle are on their game, they will control the puck down low and that should open up Gaborik in front for more chances.
On a radio appearance earlier in the week, John Tortorella said that he thought Marian Gaborik was struggling because he wasn’t skating and wanted him to look at what Carl Hagelin was doing.
Before Gaborik scored against the Islanders on Thursday, Tortorella expanded on that thought in the Daily News saying that skating is a huge part of Gaborik’s game, “you look at Hagelin and he creates havoc with his legs. I just don’t understand why Gabby can’t do that. I know they’re a little bit different type players: Gabby is a little bit more finesse with the puck and sometimes Hags is better without the puck, he just chases it down, I understand that. But Gabby needs to bring that into his game. And he will. He will. We’ve talked about it, I think Gabby gets a little inconsistent, where he gets a little too far ahead in his game and then he can’t use his speed because he has no ice to play on. We need to rectify that. We just need to get more consistency out of him game-to-game. He can’t have a really good game and then fall off the map for two or three and that’s what we’re trying to remedy here.”
Gaborik played 20:21 on Thursday and had a goal and an assist with three shots on goal. He played just over 18 minutes in regulation and then 1:23 in OT.
On the MSG pre game show, Gaborik’s linemate on Thursday, Ryan Callahan said that Gaborik can get himself going “He is the type of guy who can get himself going. He doesn’t need players around him to do that. I just want to go in there, get pucks and get to the net.”
Gaborik only has two goals in his last eight games and both came against the Islanders. He has 25 shots in that time.
In his first five games this season, Marian Gaborik had five goals and eight points.
Gaborik only has one point, a goal, in his last seven games while taking 23 shots. Gaborik has also played under 19 minutes in the last three games and is now averaging 19:42 per game.
In seven games at MSG this season, Gaborik has eight of his nine points including all six goals. Three of Gaborik’s goals have broken ties and he has three game winning goals.
Yesterday on The Michael Kay Show, John Tortorella was praising Carl Hagelin and the amount of offense he has been creating and said that Gaborik should look at how Hagelin has been playing, “I think Gabby is struggling a little bit because he isn’t skating. I think Gabby should look at Hags and think ‘that is what I should be doing.” Hags has done some really good things for us.”
Last week, prior to Gaborik scoring in the Rangers win over the Islanders, John Tortorella said that Gaborik was someone who Tortorella thought about benching. Tortorella said that he benched Brian Boyle because the other guys who he wanted to bench have an opportunity to add more to the team on a game by game basis and create offense.
Adam Rotter: Gaborik hasn’t been able to do much since the big line, with Rick Nash and Brad Richards, broke up. It was only a couple of weeks ago when Tortorella was praising Gaborik for becoming a better player, but beyond a few sporadic chances, his game hasn’t been very consistent lately. He seems to love playing the Islanders so he may have a big game tonight, but the Rangers need him and Brad Richards to get their games on track.
In his career against the Islanders, Marian Gaborik has 19 goals and 14 assists in 27 games.
Last season Gaborik had five goals and two assists in the six game series last year.
In his last three games, Marian Gaborik has five goals, three assists and 12 shots.
Following the game winner against Boston on Wednesday, Dave Maloney said on ESPN Radio “there have been a lot of times where people have questioned Gaborik’s will….well tonight, he willed that puck into the net.
After the game on Wednesday, John Tortorella said, “he has changed himself as a player since he came here. He was a perimeter guy when he got here that didn’t want to practice because he was sore. He wasn’t injured. I think he has grown so much mentally in how he conducts himself. He is always on the ice. I bet 80% of his goals last year were 5-7 feet from the net. He is a very talented player that is willing to be there.”
Adam Rotter: Just as he did last year, Gaborik is scoring big goals when the Rangers need him. He has fully bought into the Rangers system and willing to pay the price, in front of the net, on defense, along the boards, to help the Rangers win.
Last night the Rangers had a line featuring Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash.
Richards, Nash and Gaborik combined to score the Rangers first goal and Gaborik ended up with a hat trick.
As Jeff Klein writes in the NY Times, “Coach John Tortorella united his three best forwards — Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash — for the first time, and their spectacular creativity gave the Rangers their first victory of the season, 4-3 in overtime over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “
Dave Maloney said last night on ESPN Radio, “The plan was to break up Gaborik and Nash, but I don’t think the supporting cast is deep enough to do that. If they can be a factor that puts in 3 of 4 goals every night, I think that works.”
On playing with Richards and Nash, Gaborik said on ESPN Radio “I think it went great. That is what we need to do. Richie slows the game down and Nasher is a force out there. That is how we have to play.”
Dan Girardi told NHL.com “They’re all great players and when they’re clicking that’s a hard line to stop. There are some pretty high-class players on that line. It’s not always going to be perfect, but as long as they’re getting their chances and defending the right way they’ll be pretty good.”
In the NY Times, Jeff Klein describes the play by play that led to the Rangers first goal last night:
Michael Del Zotto sent a laser pass from his own goal line to the center circle. Richards accepted it on his forehand while pivoting, his back to the Bruins’ zone, and without switching to his backhand ushered the puck ahead to the left wing, reducing its speed by half.
Somehow that redirected puck went perfectly to Nash, tearing down the left side. He crossed the puck perfectly to Gaborik, speeding down the right wing, who lifted it over the sprawling Rask. The Rangers had their first lead of the season.
Since scoring 42 goals in 2007-08, Marian Gaborik has always followed up a 40 goal season with an injury ravaged low scoring season.
Gaborik had 13 goals in 2008-09, he missed all but 17 games due to injury, then signed with the Rangers and had 42 goals.
The following season Gaborik missed time with a shoulder injury and concussion and only scored 22 goals in 62 games before playing in all 82 games last season and scoring 41 goals.
Sportsnet says that based on the past, Gaborik is due for a down season and Carp from Rangers Report wonders which Gaborik the Rangers will have this season, “the one who scored 42 goals his first year in New York, the one who scored 22 his second year, or the one who scored 41 last year.”
At the beginning of training camp, John Tortorella was asked about Gaborik and said that he has become a different player than he was when he first came to the Rangers, “I’m not sure I said this last year, but from the first day he came here to now, what he is, he has changed, he’s always on the ice. I remember the first year was like pulling teeth to get him on the ice at certain times to practice. He’s grown mentally. The year he had last year, the playoffs he had last year and going through the injury that he had…he is still growing as a player. He is still growing mentally and I think…he has to be a huge part of it this year.
Adam Rotter: Gaborik was great last season with seven game winners and 20 goals that broke a tie and gave the Rangers the lead. He is a game breaker and no longer the Rangers only offensive threat so the defense can’t just collapse on him. He was healthy all season until the Ottawa series but stayed in the lineup and played a on shoulder that needed major surgery. I see Gaborik breaking his trend and coming up with another big season.