Gaborik artwork courtesy of reader Brittany Brubaker.
Despite Marian Gaborik's 114 regular season goals in 3+ seasons with the Rangers, I feel Blueshirt fans never really warmed to the guy. When things went wrong he was always the whippng boy.
As soon as his production would waiver, fans were quick to point out how he doesn't fit in Tortorella's system and he needs to play tougher.
But not everyone has to play with "jam" or grit. Some guys are just pure goal scorers. The problem with Gaborik is once the goals dried up, he really didn't offer anything else. He is a very streaky player, which can be maddening at times. While his goal totals look nice there were too many games where he was invisible.
When we've seen guys like Brandon Dubinsky struggle in the past to score, you could at least count on him to play hard and contribute on the penalty kill, but with Gabby it was goals or nothing.
I also feel that trading Gaborik for depth and toughness, is an admission by Sather that the organization follied by letting so many heart and soul guys leave this past off-season. But that's a story for another day.
Having said all that, Gaborik's tenure on Broadway was filled with exciting moments and a ton of scoring. Two 40+ goal seasons and plenty of times when he carried the load offensively. His release is deadly (or at least it was pre-shoulder injury) and he actually became willing to go into the dirty areas to score goals, which is something that wasn't the case before he came to New York.
Despite last night's results, the trade of Gaborik is a risk. I have no doubt in my mind that he will bounce back either this season or next and start burying goals again. You just have to hope the Rangers re-dedication to grinding out wins will make up for his goal scoring prowess. Because, make no mistake about it, trading away a sniper of Gaborik's calibor is a loss and he will be missed.
So I just wanted to go on record thanking Gaborik for his time as a Blueshirt and all the joy he gave Rangers fans over the past 3+ seasons in New York. Here's a highlight no Rangers fan will soon forget....
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