Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dreger: Rangers Willing to Listen On Gaborik

The grumblings about the New York Rangers being willing to listen on Marian Gaborik are getting louder.  Darren Dreger writes in today’s Dreger Report that the Rangers are willing to listen on Gaborik, but are not shopping him.  This is a lot like what Larry Brooks said last month NY Post last month. Before anyone gets overheated the key point here is listening, which just means if someone calls they do not immediately hang up, as opposed to shopping where Sather is the one calling other teams.  Listening is something that all GM’s do on a whole host of players they would never actually trade unless the other team is willing to overpay, which is what I think would have to be the case here.
As Dreger points out, players of Gaborik’s caliber are rarely available during the season for trades because they usually required long term negotiations to make the deal work.  Obviously we do not know if there have been some low-level negotiations that had already been going on in terms of Gaborik that could heat up towards the end and made the traditional timetable not apply in this case.
I have no doubt that if made available a number of teams would be knocking on Glen Sather’s door attempting to acquire Gaborik with the intention of getting him back to last season’s form.  The question would be if those teams were trying to do it at a discount rate, and that is the temptation that Sather must avoid.  If you are going to sell Gaborik, you do not sell low based on his struggles this season.  If a team is willing to hit you with a huge offer, then it is Sather’s job to listen and consider all the factors for the team both this year and in the future.  The fact that the trade and free agent market appear so weak this year would only help Sather in getting a higher premium for Gaborik.
Another consideration Sather would have to take into account is the financial situation of the team, both this summer and down the line.  Eliminating the $7.5 million cap hit would certainly create space to bring back Callahan, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Boyle, and Sauer, while also going after Richards if that is what the Rangers still desire.  I do not buy the notion that Richards would only be wanted here if Gaborik is here because I believe he could make other players, like Dubinsky, better.
When I think back to where Gaborik was just last year, it is truly amazing that this is a real thought right now for the Rangers.  One must remember that Marian Gaborik does have a no-trade clause, so even if the Rangers worked out a deal to send him somewhere he has to approve going to whatever team it is.
I expect, as I have always expected, that once the February 28 trade deadline has ended Marian Gaborik will still be wearing a Rangers 10 sweater and helping lead the Rangers on a playoff push.