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....
Not havig him opens up money to pay 3 great players next season which none of you are talking about, hagelin, stepan and mccdonagh
everyone keeps complaining about not having him. Hockey today is fast and physical. He was only fast You need to be physical. He didn't backcheck especially when he was frustrated. he never hit, when he did he'd bounce off like a 4 year old. and when he wasn't scoring it was a negative on the ice
Gaborik got the GWG tonight, assist from Dubi. Nice to see ex Rangers having some success. I'll definitely root for them until next year when they're in our division
Gabby will score with Dubi or Arty doing the dirty work in the corners.. This year he rarely ,,, Did what Nash does??
Nice Tribute. I like Gaborik as a person and wish him well, but all of you are wrong that Gabby contributed nothing when he wasn't scoring: He was a major negative contribution. A ghost of a player that did nothing to retreive the puck and hurt his team by floating around the middle of the ice. And it got noticeably worse this year.
He's the NHL-equivalent of a mini-mite who hangs out by the goal asking his teammates to pass it to him. One of the games greats? Please. He has to score 30/year to break even contribution-wise.
Thanks for the tribute Kevin. I will miss him, and wish him all the luck in the world. I remember his 5 goal game against us and wondered why we never get players like that. When we got him I was overjoyed. When we traded him yesterday, It really made me mad. I happened to be waiting on line at the DMV. I took it out on the poor lady telling me I was missing documentation. Haha. I hope he gets an ovation next time he comes to MSG. He gave us some amazing moments.
Marian Gaborik is one of hockey's greats. I have no doubt he'll continue to be a top NHL goal scorer for many more years.Good luck on the Blue Jackets Gabby!
Only thing the guy ever did was the triple overtime goal last year vs. the Caps. That's all I will give him. Soft player who plays the perimeter and shies away from any contact. Easy to take out of the game once he got bumped hard a few times.
I'll miss the guy. Brought some great moments, even as recently as his hat trick against Boston. I agree that not many people warmed up to him, myself included-- out of all the "stars" on the team, buying a Gaby jersey or shirt just didn't make much sense to me, for example, if only because there were so many others I'd get first. Either way, thanks and good luck, Gaby.
Gaby was a good soldier and a class act, as Kevin said, he will be missed.
As always a fantastic article, much thanks!
Did Gaborik play for the Rangers? Funny I never saw him in last years playoffs. Was he even on the ice?
I have been one of Gabby's biggest supporters and biggest fans on this page. When all the trash talking started a month or 2 ago I was very quick to point out that this guy scored 40 goals here without a playmaker (he and Richey never gelled) who could get him the puck. He was underrated, undervalued and scapegoated when he was not scoring and the team was losing. He's not a Nash, or a Crosby, not a "complete player" - he's a specialist and can only thrive in a team oriented environment on a squad who will play to his strengths, watch his back and take up his slack so he may thrive as an offensive specialist. No matter what happens this season, and despite last seasons success I will never think of Torts as anything other than a short-sighted, overcontrolling coach who may be a genius on paper, but only capable of seeing this game in 2 dimensions in real time. He never used Gabby in a way that could exploit his strengths. He never found anyone who could consistantly feed him for his deadly wrister and one timer yet he scored 40 goals. that my friends is a testiment to how special he really is. He was never a grinder but he picked up enough "garbage goals" to prove he was willing to pay the price to help his team.
Now after 2 shoulder injuries (I actually think he re-injured slightly on a hard, uncalled unretaliated hit he took early this year) he has not just slumped. He has declined. He stopped playing the boards, he lost an edge off the deadly wrister and has basically hurt the team by playing scared from around the 10th game this season. It was such an obvious shift I'm surprised I didn't read or hear about it. but I love the guy so it was easy for me to see he was not the same player anymore. Will he come back? Will the shoulder ever completely heal? Debatable but at 30+ with the cap I can understand why we would not take the gamble. Great players adjust to their changing bodies and even if he never fully regains is shot he will adjust and help CBJ. Interestingly he's shown signs of regaining some heart the last few games and I think he will do well next season. Nice tribute Kevin. I appreciate it. I will miss him but given the structure of the team and the cap I understand why they needed to move him. Time to move on LGR
I will definitely miss Gaby. This season is too weird to hold against anyone, and even though he's streaky as you mentioned, it's worth a few "phantom" games to get the awesomeness that he brings. How many other players have scored 40+ goals in a season even once for the Rangers in the past 5 years?
I'm happy we got some grit back (and sweet jesus last night's game still has me giddy) and maybe in the long run the trade will prove to be the right move, but I will unequivocally miss Gaby and I'm not ashamed to admit that I teared up for a second when I refreshed my trade tracker at work yesterday and saw his name on it.
Good luck to him in Columbus with the "I can't believe it's not the Rangers."
Gaborik is a specialist that Torts never learned to use effectively - despite the evidence otherwise in his 40 goal seasons. A player like Gaborik is a luxury that you must work to own. He is like Manny Ramirez. Many people can harness hard work - precious few have a gift like certain athletes. To "have" someone like Gabby, or Manny on your team the balance of the team must compensate for their deficiencies. When a team can't do that the deficiencies just look more glaring. At that point you need a coach/manager who is bright enough to recognize that. In Gabby's case, yes he stopped scoring, but does anyone believe he lost his skill??? No. Hockey is a system game (unlike baseball). If your grinders aren't forcing the play, creating turnovers, creating space, then a player like Gaborik will suffer. Torts NEVER recognized this, instead demanded that Gabs be a different player, which is as insanely stupid as demanding a rabbit to eat the highest leaves on the tree a la a giraffe. I wish Gabs the best and now have one more reason to cheer on Columbus. As for the Rangers - great new players. I thought from the start that it was a good trade for both sides and LOVED what I saw in terms of team personality last night. THAT kind of pressure wins games! Go Blue!
I know I never really warmed to him because he wasn't really a "warm" guy - he always seemed sort of detached and unemotional to me. He was a hell of a Ranger in his time, though, and I have to say I don't feel right about how his time with the tam ended. I hope he's successful with Columbus (though not if they're playing against us, of course!)
@TheNYRBlog really enjoyed that.. it's nice to see someone actually appreciate how good he is/ was for the team. people blamed him too much.
Agree with you. If Nash had not become a Ranger then no way would Gabby be gone. I hope he does very well in Columbus (as long as they are not playing the Rangers).
@TheNYRBlog how many of his goals were game changers .
Gabby is a skilled player but we really lacked depth in the bottom six. You cant win Stanley's Cup without a full compliment of players. The 94 team even had the Black Aces.
Loved gabbi, still if-y on the trade. Its gonna blow when we play the jackets more with the realignment and he poops on hank
@ATCRyan So will I even when thay play the Rangers.
@ATCRyan Gaborik GWG and an assist. Dubi 2 assists. Good for them.
@johnnyb3910 So what's your point? No other player have ever fanned on a shot? Did you also watched him score the game winner? That made me feeel good for the guy.
@Zegallas Will hurt that much more when Blue Jackets are in the division next year.
@rangersfan For the record, Phil Esposito got himself into the Hall Of fame by planting himself in front of the net and scored record setting garbage goals. IMO. Gaborik is a true sniper and no one can take that away from him. And yes, he is one of the games greats.
@rangersfan And he will score those 30 or 40 a year with regularity for years on another NHL team.
@rangersfan I must respectfully say that you and I are watching a different game my friend. this year? yes. agreed but in past years? No. FYI. 3 years with the Rangers. +15. +8, +15. In fact with the single exception of this year (and his first 2 NHL seasons when he was 18 and 19 yrs old) he's been a plus player every year. Now I'm not a huge fan of the plus/minus system but when you consider that his line frequently played against the other teams' top lines you don't get those kind of numbers by floating around the middle of the ice or never retrieving the puck - essentially you'd be playing short handed every shift if that were the case. though not his strength he's underrated defensively, good back checker. I remember on numerous occasions saving goals against by hustling and lifting sticks. Excellent passer. His game probably isn't complete enough to go down in history as one of the greats but there is no basis here for stating he's been a liability his whole career, Not IMHO
@ivanricov Well said,no truer words were ever spoken.
@Andrew794 he's awesome in 13 haha, so fast
@ATCRyan I have a bad feeling we will regret this trade. Dude is streaky as hell, but when he is on, he is magic.
@Betweentheworlds @rangersfan I agree with everything you posted except for one thing. I do believe that he will go down as one of the games best snipers and will probably be in the Hall of Fame.( Glad to see that there are others who can appreciate a guys talant and recognize he's contribution to he's team. Good job Betweentheworlds.)
@Betweentheworlds Right. I meant this year. But he has, to some degree, left his team shorthanded his enitre career. Backchecking is secondary to retreiving loose pucks. No one questions his talent, shot, skating or passing. (although even his shot this year looks off to me)
@Easy_Kreider Am I a horrible Ranger fan if I thought of the impact it would make on NHL 13 rather then in real life?
I get it. You like Gaborik's skill. I LOVED gaborik's skill. He is definitely one of the top TALENTs in the game today (just as Kovalev was one of the top TALENTS in the game in his day). Gaborik was exciting to watch and I drooled over his play (just as I used to drool over Kovalev). But unfortunately, talent counts for a lot less in NHL hockey than it does in, say, baseball. I've said this before, but I wish the NHL game rewarded skill and passing more than it does. But it doesn't. And that's ESPECIALLY true in the playoffs, where the brutality is stepped up even more.
Who would you rather have on your team heading into the playoffs, Gaborik or Ryan Clowe? 'nuf said.
@scrangersfan @rangersfan Agreed scrangersfan, in my book he's already done enough in this league to be a hall of famer and he will absolutely be recognized as one of the best snipers ever, I just meant in my comments that I don't think he'll be recognized on the same elite plateau as guys like Messier (the greatest all around player ever IMHO), Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Lemieux etc. but I wasn't intending to diminish his amazing career either. I really hope he overcomes his adversities and rejuvenates over in Columbus (NYRangers west lol)
@Betweentheworlds Plus / Minus? c'mon? Ryan Callahan has been a minus player for the last 3 years. Rick Nash was a minus player 2 out of the last 3 years. Take that statistic back to Kindergarten.
@rangersfan OK - not that I want to beat a dead horse but I think you misunderstood my reply. First off if you're one dimensional in the NHL you get sent to the minors real fast. Defining rolls as a shooter/sniper does not mean you play dead either, nor was I implying that, obviously you have to battle, play the boards and check in this league even if that's not "your game" or you're playing in Slovakia, and Gabby is a 12 year veteran of the NHL. He does all that or he's not in this league and he's certainly not a plus player for 10 straight seasons no matter how many goals he gets, especially when his line often plays the other teams top line. PERIOD!. Secondly I am not making excuses for a guy who's scored 41 goals and was a +15 last year, or blaming anybody - I'm just saying we never saw the best of Gabby here because we failed to provide a pivot with whom he had any chemistry with. Big difference.
I think what we can agree on is one - Torts needs to go (lol) and 2. this year he hurt the team when he stopped playing loose pucks and the boards. He played scared and injury or not that's not acceptable on this team or in this league. This year he has 9 goals and is a minus 8. big difference in play, big difference in numbers. I love the guy - I hate the trade, but I understand the logic behind it so I'm good. Time to move on and root for the revitalized team we both love. LGR
@Betweentheworlds See, I don't buy that his job is to get open and not to scrum. The puck bounces all over the place. It's too quick a game and sometimes it's in your area and you have to scrum while the other guy gets open. If you are one-dimensional in the NHL, you're hurting your team in unquantifiable ways. I guess that's where I disagree with you.
And the bit about it being the centers' fault is horsepoop. I am more willing to believe something I believe you said earlier, which is that in Tort's system, he couldn't get open (or cheat for the breakaway more specifically).
Hmm Maybe? somewhat?? No he won't cross center line for loose pucks but his job is to get open, not to scrum. and he's one of the best in that regard - too bad the Rangers never found someone who could find him on a consistent basis. Stephan came closest. I often imagine what he would have done here if he had the right centerman. Either way it's over now and I love what he's done for this team but for this year they are better off without him
@Andrew794 haha nope, thought of the same