It's been unfortunate to watch a 40-goal scorer like Marian Gaborik struggle to find the back of the net this season. And last night in Winnipeg might have been rock bottom when he could barely get a shot off during a penalty shot and did this afterward...
Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com reports that although the Rangers aren’t necessarily shopping Gaborik, he’s indeed available.
LeBrun adds that if Gaborik can be flipped for a right-handed, top-four blueliner and/or a couple of bottom-six, grinding type forwards, he believes the Rangers would move him.
Gaborik does have a no trade clause in his contract.
...Gaborik is a veteran in this league and is solely to blame for his struggles. Having said that, Tortorella has handled this situation deplorably. For some reason he'd rather have a guy who's scored 40+ goals twice sitting on the bench than playing at his normal position on right wing. When Tortorella first announced that Gaborik, after playing all his entire life on the right wing, was going to be moved to the left side, I understood the thinking. Nash, who also plays the right wing, was coming in and Torts had his eyes set on a super line of Gaborik-Richards-Nash. But sadly it just didn't work out.
...where Torts went wrong is that he didn't immediately put Gaborik back at his natural position when he broke-up the GNR line. Instead he has moved him all over the line-up, while mostly leaving him on the left side. I know that Callahan also plays right wing, but I find it hard to believe the Rangers captain wouldn't change positions to help ignite Gaborik.
...one thing I do take umbrage with is Rangers fans questioning the guy's heart and desire to win. There's no doubt in my mind that this guy wants to help bring another Cup to New York and this slump must be eating him up inside. Never, ever in his career has he been a tough, physical player, so it baffles me to see so many Rangers fans on him for not playing a harder brand of hockey. Have you guys been watching a different Gaborik than me these last few years? Not everyone on the team has to be a grinder. Which is something I wish Torts would learn.
...so after a nightmarish game in Winnipeg, you have to assume there's only one place to go but up for Gaborik. That, or a trade to a Western Conference team for their high priced sniper who isn't scoring.
Gaborik has just one goal in the last 13 games.
Don't blame Gabby... He is in a slump and it's becoming a self-fufilling prophecy. The Rangers are playing without heart, without guts and without toughness but don't blame Torts for that... The Ranger woes must rest solely on the shoulders of Ryan Callahan who is a good, tough, clutch player but possibly the WORST team captain in Hockey history. Don't give me this "quiet, leads by example" crap... Great team captains, like Munson, Messier, Gainey and others,GET IN YOUR FACE and DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY OR ELSE... Messier got Petr Nedved booted off the Rangers for lacksidasial play... He made Doug Weight and Tony Amonte's lives a living hell for playing soft and selfish games... I don't know who this Ranger team would respect but it CLEARLY is not the leadership of Ryan Callahan....
@SonLewis Interesting take guy. I'd have to say I respectfully disagree, at least upon the degree in which you state this but very interesting point, especially because I was thinking about the '94 Rangers who (as unfathomable as it is) had a coach even more stubborn and short sighted then Torts. Before a mutiny between players and coach started to dismantle the team Mess took them aside and basically took over as "the coach" while Keenan scratched his butt and went through the motions. I was thinking maybe Calli should do something similar with this group, who are wrestling with the love of their sport and team vs. the disdain of their coach, but of course he can't do that. He's not as old, as seasoned, as respected and hasn't developed those qualities nor owned his captaincy enough to do that yet the way Mess did. You got to love Calli for his play and leadership by example though, and how he works tirelessly to developed his game, which is an amazing story in it of itself. I think these things have earned the respect of his team mates as a leader and that's where I'm on a different page. I think he has the respect but now has to develop the swagger of a Captain, which is different then saying he clearly does not have the leadership or respect. So what do we do? Closed door meeting with Capt and players for starters?
All I want to say here is that I rage to shit when I see Gaborik benched for a whole 3rd period when the Rangers are down goals. I understand players must take responsibility, but the coach also has a responsibility to put out players who can score goals when goals MUST be scored. Torts keeping a sniper on the bench in that situation makes me want to throw a chair.
Your comments Kevin are exactly what I've been saying in my comments, rebutting all the negative talk on Gaby, especially on his non-physical play. the last 2 weeks you'll find me all over this blog echoing these sentiments. There are 4 lines, different roles for different players etc. Gabs isn't paid to bang bodies. I might add to that his play has been softer this year coming off major shoulder surgery. Lets get past that now and find a way to get him going.
Torts is a fine coach when things are going well but I personally never liked him from day 1. Now that he's faced with adversity his true colors are showing (in my opinion). I'm no expert of course but he seems to be reactionary and short-sighted with a lack of understanding of the subtleties of the game. Appears being the operative word here because I know he knows more about this game than I ever will so with that assumption I think he needs to get out of reaction mode, rise above his emotions, work with his players rather than against them and adjust his system as well as his coaching style to match his personnel. He lost several of his hard checking energy players but has gained scorers. Stop treating the Rangers like they're still an offensively inept team Torts because they're not that anymore. This in my opinion is a big problem getting bigger.
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@kicker75 You're right. I just said that to be balanced and PC. Just my opinion but I've always thought he sucks all around. This coach has frustrated me since day 1.
I am puzzled... It's not only Gaboirk. Richards? Sthephan? Haglin? Boile?
Do we trade all of them of get a coach that make sense and knows what is he doing. We all agree here that so far whatever he is doing makes no sense. Why does he keeps his job? Isn't it clear that he lost him team and they will not play for that disrespectful bum? Did you hear the press conference im Buffalo: "Ask them (the players). What did they say?" Is this not a clear indication that he lost his team? How long Mr. Sather will you wait until writing off this season? Torts should go ASAP.
@FerkoMattersnot Buy out Richards, try to get Clowe for Boyle and a prospect and keep everyone else, but fire Torts. In the end the coach has to be held accountable whether it's his fault or not, and in this case I believe it is mostly his fault. He coaches by reaction only and it appears that he is oblivious to the subtleties of the game
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@kicker75 @FerkoMattersnot Agreed! and I've stated on other posts that Torts knows more about this game than I ever will. However, in my view he's stubborn, reactionary and for all his hockey knowledge he thinks in 2 dimensions only in a 3 dimensional game. Ultimately the players win or lose games and ultimately the coach gets praised if they win or fired if they lose, so his job is to bring out the best in his players, not the worst.
@FerkoMattersnot Stepan's having a career year so far, what more do you want from him?
I know that Gaborik has never been a physical player and will never become one, but you gotta hit somebody once in a while. I mean he is a hockey player for heavens sake. I'd also like to see him take a hit to make a play once in a while. It baffles me how lazy he looks sometimes because he seems scared to get hit.
@nyrfan747 Honestly dude he use to play with some physical presence. He'd prefer to play the puck but when he couldn't he'd finish a check and get hit on the boards when he couldn't get out of the way, but playing the puck was always his priority. This season though he avoids contact like the plague. I have to believe he's babying the shoulder after major surgery and though I can see the logic of not getting injured again it's hurting the team.
Tell ya what, trade him to the Bruins for Adam MacQuaid. :) I'd love to see him in a Bruins uniform!
Listen, I know you a lot of Ranger fans are frustrated (hell even I am)
Last year this was the team taking the #1 on the Eastern Conference, they are not trading anybody. Best thing to do is just move on, and beating the Pens tomorrow !
@JoeNYR Agreed mostly - would like to see one or 2 moves to improve the team but not break up the core or chemistry. I'd like to see them wake up and move Torts. He's the problem in my opinion. Last season when they were successful that was overlooked. Not by me, I never liked him, but by the so called experts. He was even up for coach of the year. REALLY???
See, the problem with Gaborik is we know he's not physical, we know he doesn't play defense. But nothing in the world we could do would make Torts see that, and honestlyt as much as I'd like him to sometimes, he's not going anywhere! So we kind of have to take frustrations out on Gaborik, it's not fair, but Torts wont let him be Gaborik, and he's not going to change. This is just a bad situation.
@PenaltySh0t Agreed, except he's not as bad in his own end as most think . he use to lift sticks at the right time and prevent scoring chances and do other nifty little plays to prevent chances. He's been a plus player most years. Because he doesn't block shots and take out bodies people tend to under estimate his defense value in my opinion. No he's not "defensive" by any means but he can still contribute there.
Slumps suck. That's why they're called slumps and not "happy fun time drought days" Gotta give Gaborik a break. Good to see him so upset - it shows he cares. He's a streaky player and will continue to be that way as long as he gets moved around by Torts. I don't understand the trade talks. One player - particularly one of Gaborik's caliber - is not to blame for this messy season. Also don't understand the Gaborik can be traded "for a couple of bottom six grinding type forwards" LeBrun comment. Silly statement given the fact that that's already 75% of the Rangers roster and seemingly all we have ready for call ups in Connecticut. Balanced scoring has been the issue here for years. Grinders have a job. It's not gonna be to score lots of goals. That's what your top two lines are supposed to do.
Real long term issue here is team chemistry and coaching. Constant line changes seem to cause problems and most Ranger fans know that this roster changes every off season. Dolans/Sather have an addiction to constant roster tinkering as the solution for every problem. Not a lot of time for a team to gel and build strong chemistry from season to season here. For a city with lots of pressure to win (so they can ALWAYS increase prices) - we don't get the results often do we?
Oh well - that's why is frickin' hard to be a loyal fan. Hope the team doesn't implode so early!
@KevinDeLury Gaborik's level of physicality has gone from a 3 out of 10 to zero. So yeah, he was never physical, but now it's downright unacceptable. What "baffles" me is how many fans that consider themselves "hardcore" can't see the way in which his game has changed. It's glaring. The frustrating thing is he still has the talent but he no longer has the courage. NHL hockey is about courage and talent both.
Gaborik is Pedro Martinez post Martinez's shoulder surgery. Unless he is willing to make even light contact with another player, his NHL days are done. After being bought out over the summer, he will go to Switzerland or KHL.
And this is from a guy (as I have said previously) loves his talent and has spent the last 3 years drooling over some of his highlights. I wish the NHL was more of a showcase for speed, passing and shooting, but it's not.
@rangersfan @KevinDeLury Yeah, I've got to unfortunately agree, at least in principle. My screen name has been all over this Gabby trash talk rebutting every chance I get and I must say in 2 weeks most people are agreeing with me now finally, and thanks Rangersfan for being the only other person besides myself here to acknowledge that his physical play was a 3. Everyone else seems to think it's always been a zero. He even started out this season taking a few hits and gee what a coincidence, scoring goals. He got rocked, and I wish I could remember which game and by who around the 7th or 8th game and that seems to have been all she wrote. I have to believe he tweeked the shoulder and is avoiding hits to stay healthy and hurting the team as well as his future as a result. I sure do hope he finds his heart soon for everyone's sake. He use to be my fav. player to watch. SNEAKY GOOD!
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@kicker75 @KevinDeLury I truly despise Torts as a person. He's a world-class jerk and his rude and demeaning behavior to the kids who are trying to do their jobs as reporters disgusts me. That being said, he's not to blame for the Rangers problems this year nor is he responsible for Gaborik's play. Gaborik has scored 40 goals twice (as so many like to point out) under Torts. He switched lines just as often in the past as he does now and honestly, as bad as Richards has been, he's still a step up at center from Dubi or Anisimov, who were centering him in other years when he scored 40, under Torts. Stepan this year is the best center he has played with in years. I love Gaborik as a person. He's a cool, caring, humble individual. I would love to hang out with him. Quite possibly, T\there's something wrong with him and he's not telling anyone. I feel bad. But facts are facts. There isn't a team in the NHL on which he fits right now.
@rangersfan @kicker75 @KevinDeLury Absolutely agree rangersfan. Been saying this since the Gabby trash talk began here. My theory is the nasty hit he took 7 or 8 games in tweeked the shoulder, or something and he became timid trying to avoid a career ending injury and has hurt himself and the team as a result. However you've put something into words that is very important reminding us of a subtlety of Gabs' game that most don't realize. You are absolutely right. He use to do all that stuff and more, like sneaky little cross checks to get free for a second for a one timer. or being a master at lifting sticks in the defensive end and breaking up passes and scoring chances in his own end. He's our best shooter and our best or 2nd best scorer. I hope he comes out of it soon.
@kicker75 @KevinDeLury First of all, you're right, you didn't suggest putting Callahan on the left, but Kevin did. You're also right that a shooter like Gaborik (or Ovechkin) is more likely to play the off wing and it makes sense in a lot of instances for him to do that. And I agree he's also having to make an adjustement. No question. And he has pouted about it like Ovechkin, for which I applaud him.
However, the one thing I'm failing to get across here about Gaborik's physicality (or lack thereof) is that it's not about him doing things he's never done (like grinding in the corners). It's about using your body to make plays (when driving to the net for instance). When you use your body effectively, there's contact - sometimes not insignificant contact. And a willingness to at least tie people up on the forecheck instead of just poking your stick in there and trying to knock it loose. Maybe I'm delusional, but he seemed to have a lot more of that game in years gone by. The only game I saw a flicker was against Buffalo. I think he's injured again personally. All I can say is, I hope I'm wrong and that he goes on a tear and lifts this team into the playoffs because they aren't playing like a playoff team right now. Rick Nash must be so bummed!
@rangersfan @kicker75 @KevinDeLury Imagine the player he could be under a coach who actually understood his changing personnel and modified his system and approach accordingly to bring out the best in his players? A coach who used his hockey sense rather than coach on pure reaction alone? One who would use the "bench card" consistently so his players would no where they stood, and would therefor not tighten up and start thinking in a lightning fast sport where you don't have time to think but must act and react intuitively. Imagine if he had a coach who actually worked with his players and not against them. Imagine if gabby played with a real play making center and did not get shuffled around. The fact that he's gotten 40 goals under these adverse conditions demonstrates how special he is and tells me he could be a 50 goal scorer or more under favorable circumstances. And he's 31. You don't just give up on him right now because he's in a bad slump. Truth is he's not only lost his confidence, he's lost his heart. I think he tweeked his repaired shoulder early this season and he stopped hitting (yes he use to do that once in a while) and is afraid of a career ending injury. Imagine if we had a coach who understood the subtleties of human psychology who could work with him to regain the heart and passion this world class player who loves the sport of hockey has. Yes, I do blame the coach. That is where the buck stops.
@kicker75 @KevinDeLury btw, the whole idea that he should have moved Callahan to the left side instead of Gaborik overlooks the fact that Callahan is a right-handed shot playing the right wing and Gaborik is a left-handed shot playing the off-wing (on the right side). Conventional wisdom is you move the left-handed shot to the left side in that circumstance. Whether it accounts for the fact that Gaborik is playing like a mouse - dubious. I stand by my comment. He's not playing NHL hockey right now. He's playing no-contact hockey for old men - there's a place for that - it's called Chelsea Piers.
@rangersfan "There isn't a team in the NHL on which he fits right now." Bold claim alert.
@rangersfan The ice surface for the NHL must be made larger/international spec. These guys are way too big and fast for the now dinky surface they play on.
Totally against trading him.
If this were a full season, he'd be on pace to score 30. Unless we're trading for someone like Bobby Ryan, keep him. We need people that can at least give us some sort of goal scoring. Also, I know he's here to score goals, but since we moved him to the left wing, his assists are way up. Have to give credit to him somewhere. Plus, he's always been a streaky goal scoring kind of guy. You want to put the blame somewhere, how about the secondary scoring? Halps, Boyler, Pyatt & MIller . They are all over due. Working hard, yes, but at a certain point you have to get it going. We have some good grinders at the bottom 6, they just need to get the offense going.
I am against trading him.
That being said you give me a consistent 20 goal scorer and a bad ass D man who doesn't cost too much - opening up 7.5 million for next year... There are some good UFAs this season, plus we have people to sign.
Another thought would be trying to move him in the off season. Any chance you guys think we could get a high 1st round pick for him?
Also - why does everyone wanna trade Gabby and no one is calling for Richie's head? He doesn't grind either, he sure as hell doesn't score. Just cause him and Torts are boys he's safe? What happened to buying him out?
I think its a team issue. Lack of the swagger from last year. Its affecting a lot of guys throughout the lineup. I've always been a huge supporter of Torts. But your team needs to buy in, show up and play to their abilities.
The problem with Gaborik's game is that if he isnt scoring he doesn't give the team anything. At least Richards picks up assists and is reliable defensivly
@Jbianco His assists are way up from his career totals per season. If this were a full season, he'd be a 30/30 guy. I'd take that over a 40/20 guy. I'd rather him make others around him better and score the goals.
Last night was a breaking point for in terms of Gaborik. I don't care if he isnt phyical or if he doesn't play the best defense but he NEEDS to finish when given the opportunities. Last night he had the breakaway, the penalty shot, and then a great opporunity right in front and did not convert on any of them. Today is the first time I am thinking it might be best for both the Rangers and Gaborik to move on.
So Gabby is averaging the same amount of ice time (18-20 min/game) and same number of shots (3+) per game that he did last year. How again is it Torts' fault that he's not putting the puck in the net? So I'm guessing he should now double shift Gabby to give him more minutes to break out of his own slump. This is Gabby's slump. Gabby and ONLY Gabby is the one that can get him out of it. If Torts was playing him 10 minutes/game, I could see the blame. But he's basically playing him for a full period each game. Not much more he can do to help him. God, it's amazing the ridiculousness that a few losses brings out!
@gravey94 2 words "shoulder" "surgery". It got tweeked early this season I believe when he got rocked (don't remember the team or player that nailed him) and he's been increasingly timid ever since. Maybe it was something else but he started out looking like Gabs and somethin changed early on. I've made it no secret here that I've never liked Torts but to blame him solely for Gabby's woes would be unfair, still it's the coaches job to bring out the best in his players and he seems to be doing the opposite. That said you're absolutely right gravey94 we do get ridiculous with the finger pointing during a slump. We're Rangers fans!
Torts need to go...tired of him benching people and mixing the lines, mistakes are a part of the game, players get afraid of making something productive in fear of Torts, and he sure as hell isn't helping Gabby... Fire Torts and his lousy assistant...
If they wan to win a cup and not be so beaten up by may... Its simple.. Tprts needs to understand like thos said, not everyone is a grinder and a shot blocker, torts needs to go if he believes that... You meantotell me any rangers fan wants to see nash, or gaborik, or or a player like that block a shot, cally has made a name for himself doing that! Nash and gaborik havent. They are pure goal scorers, snipers or however you want to say it. We need a team with a prust or a dubinsky, nash was worth the trade but we shouldnt have let prust walk, even for as much money as he made in frog land... Hed be worth it because that guy is the heart and soul of a team... If torts wants nash and gabby to hit and be blockin shots and grind... I think torts is the problem and need to go!
Gaborik Richards and Hagelin were reunited once last night and I thought it was the best shift Gaborik had in a month. He looked dangerous. I think you reunite these guys and put Nash back with Stepan.
"Have you guys been watching a different Gaborik than me these last few years? Not everyone on the team has to be a grinder. Which is something I wish Torts would learn."
I'm getting so tired of this "grinding" and "battling" being thrown around especially when it comes to this guy. He has the best shot on this team, hands down. His game is totally thrown off by this coach.
Didn't Carp at Rangers LoHud pen a decent article towards the beginning of the season where he felt this was a transition year for the team's ethos? Something along the lines of moving from ground pounders to more finesse/hard hitting style. Neither of those are manifesting.
@_Jack No -
Thank YOU _Jack :)
These things are not manifesting (your last paragraph) because our coach seems to believe we have the same team we had last year, so of course being the 2 dimensional thinking, reactionary, stubborn a-hole that he is (just my opinion) he plays the same system, the same way that was successful for a modestly talented high energy, grinding "blue collar" type team, but guess what? This is not the same team. Caly's evolving into a goal scorer. Our other kids are developing a scoring touch. we lost some of our energy players and we gained offensive talent in it's place. We are no longer offensively inept, at least on paper and we don't have the high energy grinders of last year but the coach has not seemed to adapt, and rather than fix it has gotten frustrated that his way isn't working and stubbornly tries to do it "his way", gets angry and it gets worse and worse.. I know I'm no expert, and I'm criticizing a seasoned NHL coach but it's not a reactionary response to a slump. I've always felt this way about him. I'm not saying Torts should change his system. Just modify it. Adapt!
Remember when Kovy lost the puck in a shootout aganist Buffalo 2 seasons ago? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXQj22KMVXY
Kovy was in a slump and came back strong towards the end of the season, after seeing Gabby's frustration, Im hoping he also has a similar strong finish to the season, but the Rangers offensive problems are also consistent contribution, its not there from the top to the bottom.
@Thebodisatfa The Devils coaching and managing staff has a bit more depth than the Rangers or-gan-eye-zation.
What some people fail to realize is that since the first shoulder injury Gabby has no shot. The vaunted wrist shot he brought from the Wild is long gone. His 40 goals last year were almost entirely from in close. Because he has no shot, he has to try finesse like he did on the penalty shot and that's not his game. The old Gabby would have just let it rip.
Yes he scored 40 goals. We get that. But we need to look at the present and the future, not the past.
@smn209 Look at the past he scored 40 something - then 20 something - then 40 and still has a shot to turn his season around and come close to 20 this season.
@TheNYRBlog he isn't good at any other aspect besides putting the puck in the net and he isn't doing that.
@GeorgeGrigorian If he was struggling at his natural position I'd b willing to agree with u but he's been playing out of position all season