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.