Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rangers Willing To Listen On Marian Gaborik?

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If there is one thing about the New York Rangers surprising season that stands out as the most disappointing it is the lack of impact Marian Gaborik has had.  Injuries have been a huge roadblock, especially to Ryan Callahan, and Alex Frolov never came close to what was expected of him, but neither match Gaborik for me.  Expectation levels play a large role in disappointment levels and with Gaborik I was expecting impact more on in line with last season.  On the surface his 23 points in 30 games seems productive though the amount of impactful games does not match those numbers.  The combination of expectations and the level of effort the team has made especially to get him going adds to the disappointment in its failure to happen.  In in an interesting twist to the story today it seems like the team might be willing to not only stop trying, but cut bait.

Per Larry Brooks this morning the Rangers would be willing to listen to offers for their star winger between now and the February 28 trade deadline.  The move is not one where they are actively shopping the 28-year-old sniper in the second year of a five year deal, but as Brooks says, “the fact No. 10 is not untouchable halfway through his second year in blue is all you need to know about the depths of his disappointing season.”

The best line of the article for me concerned this incessant need by many to seek excuses for Gaborik when Brooks wrote, “But not this year, not so far, and unless Gaborik himself wishes to change his story and admit to playing hurt, it's fruitless to seek excuses for a player who has never offered one.”

As I wrote ten days ago when I broached the subject of trading Marian Gaborik, he is clearly the Rangers most skilled offensive player.  Gaborik at his best is clearly better for this team then whatever immediate return they would get, but this team needs that version of Gaborik again.  Even though suggested the team consider moving Gaborik I am surprised to see this report so soon after the team made the move to acquire the talented yet underachieving Wojtek Wolski for Michal Rozsival.  There were obviously cap savings that played a role in the Wolski deal, but in its largest frame the move was clearly done with that intention of getting Gaborik going again.  The best scenario for the franchise obviously is one that sees Gaborik return to his form as one the elite snipers in the league.  This happening would push the Rangers to the brink of contention this season and in the future.  The duo of Gaborik and Wolski will certainly get some time together to try and find one another's top form, but if the team either slumps or continues to win without Gaborik being a significant contributor look for the rumblings about moving Gaborik to grow.  That said I would not expect a move if the team is in contention unless it brings back a significant piece that can contribute immediately.