Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Less than two years removed from his second 40-goal season in New York, Marian Gaborik now resides with the Columbus Blue Jackets, is mired in a seven-game goal less drought and the organization may look to move on from him at the Trade Deadline or perhaps even sooner.
Oof. A hard fall from grace, indeed.
But, as Rangers fans are acutely aware, we've seen this from Gaborik before. Perimeter play, invisibility and then, like a firecracker, the Slovakian can go on a relentless tear and score in bunches. Is that what's going to happen in Columbus with Gabby, or are they witnessing the decline of a once great sniper?
Beat writer Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch spoke with head coach Todd Richards about what has happened to Gaborik:
“That’s what we’re trying to find out,” coach Todd Richards said. “I think he’s trying to find that out about himself, too. He’s one guy we have to get more game out of, and I’m not just talking offensively. There’s more to him and his game, and we need to find it.”
Gaborik spoke about his struggles as well:
“It’s not the easiest thing,” Gaborik said. “I’m trying to stay with it, trying to do some other things out there. I have to try to get more; keep plugging away. We’ve been moving forward the last couple of games. I feel better out there, too, so maybe it’s coming for me, too."
A pretty strong admission by Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was that he won’t initiate talks on an extension with Gaborik, who can become a UFA after the season, until he sees more from him in terms of leadership on and off the ice.
– That Gaborik trade last year keeps looking better and better, doesn't it? At the time it was a desperation move by the Blueshirts to infuse some much needed depth for a playoff run. It was also a long-term cap move, as well. A tough move to make considering Gaborik could score on Broadway, but as it has turned out, a necessary move.
– If the Jackets would love to exchange a headache for a headache, Benoit Pouliot is more than available to you.
– It's tough to read about about Gabby struggling in Columbus. Hopefully he can turn it around because, despite his disappearing acts, he was a good player and a good person during his time in New York.
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