Archive for the ‘Marian Gaborik’ Category

Hypothetical hope for the Islanders part II

January 8, 2009
The Sedins bringing their cycling circus act to Coney Island? Could be worse …

Even if the Islanders lose the Tavares lottery, their $20 million-plus cap space and their rapidly improving stable of prospects puts them in a great position to rebuild. How about we rank some of the guys who would best fit the Islanders?

1. Kovalchuk – This is only based on heavy trade rumors. Honestly, the Thrashers shouldn’t trade him (the reason, beyond his bodacious skills, will be revealed sooen enough).

2. Hossa – The common thread of wisdom for Hossa is that he’s the hockey version of a smoking hot bridesmaid. Even if he’s not the type of player who can carry a team on his back, Hossa is the most talented free agent and may go into Show Me the Money mode after taking a one-year Cup run contract.

3/4. The Sedin twins – Why break up the Sedin twins when they are so effective together? The Islanders might be a really nice destination for the efficient dopplegangers. Even if they sign matching $6 million contracts the Islanders could still improve the team around them.

5. Jay Bouwmeester – He’s not flashy (except in video games) but he’s the kind of player who can be a cornerstone. With the big minutes he plays and well rounded game he brings the table, he could be a nice fit for the Islanders.

But they’d probably need to add an offensive stud because Bouwmeester isn’t really a ticket seller.

6. Johan Franzen – The Mule is here and Henrik Zetterberg is not for a simple reason. It’s almost unthinkable that Detroit would allow Zetterberg to walk. Not when they very well might lose Hossa. Not when Franzen, despite his undeniable goal scoring skills, cannot stay on the ice.

Franzen could be a good fit in Long Island if he could stay relatively healthy. Hell, a Franzen + Sedins line would be a hell of a consolation prize if bigger things fall through.

Keep dreaming.

7. Marian Gaborik – Honestly, it feels like the team who signs Gaborik is like a newlywed couple who unwittingly adopts that creepy little girl from “The Ring.” But let’s face it, the Islanders are one of those teams that might need to pay up big just for the PR boost.

Even though it’s a thrill to watch Gabby on a breakaway, his signing would be a Shakespearian tragedy for a team that’s had plenty of helpings of bad luck.

8. Alex Kovalev – There’s a buyer beware to Kovalev. Either his drive does not match his blinding talent or his talent is better suited for stunning Youtube videos. Whatever way you slice it, Kovalev’s not the guy you want with that Ayn Rand-ian weight of the world on his shoulders.

Still, if the Islanders try a quantity over quality approach Kovalev could be an asset.

9. Brian Gionta – It’s hard to say if a guy like Gionta would flounder outside of NJ or if he would flourish without the spoused shackles of the NJ system. Judging from the lackluster post-NJ careers of guys like Scott Gomez, expectations should be “less than or equal to.” Then again, adding Gionta certainly would add a little spice to the Devils – Islanders rivalry (whatever you may think of that rivalry).

10. Erik Cole – Call me an Erik Cole apologist, but I’ve been a fan since the Hurricanes Cup year. Then again, he’s clearly never been the same after that dirty Brooks Orpik hit that almost ended his career. Would he take a pay cut or just stay at $4 million? At a lower price Cole could be quite the pickup but at $4 million you better take him to a damn thorough doctor.

***

Tavares-less suggestion: Go hard for Hossa or Kovalchuk or even Zetterberg. If that doesn’t work, settle for the Sedins and a low risk, high reward guy like un-listed, under the radar Michael Cammalleri.

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Can’t spell Gaborik without IR

October 22, 2008


If J.S. Giguere had not dominated the 2003 playoffs so convincingly, Marian Gaborik would have been the big story. On a team about as flashy and entertaining as a night at the library, Gabby was that speed demon who could make your heart skip a beat if he picked up a stray puck.

His memorable breakaways sold me on his elite talent, but Dre just as memorably mocked him for having a complexion not unlike a pre-air brushed Proactive commercial actor.

Since that dynamic run to the Western Conference Finals, acne was the least of the problems for the Slovakian winger. Injuries have derailed what seemed to be an inevitable ascent to the Mount Rushmore of hockey stars. It seemed odd when the Minnesota Wild brought over his countryman Pavol Demitra, since Gaborik’s buddy might be the only high-level NHLer who has suffered a more Wile E. Coyote-like fate.


He’s never played 82 games before and missed a ton of games in recent years. But as you can see from last year’s explosive 42 goal – 83 point output, he’s clearly a very productive player when he can stay relatively healthy. Take a look at his career statistics from hockeydb.com.

So, this brings us to a question dominating much of the chatter in the hockey blogosphere: is Marian Gaborik really worth a huge investment? According to beat reporter Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild are putting their young franchise’s greatest talent on the trading block after becoming frustrated with what has been an unproductive negotiating process.

Shockingly, the oft-injured Gaborik allegedly turned down a 10 year, $80 million contract! The story states that the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings reportedly are the front runners for Gaborik’s services, while Bucci’s mailbag hints at the Penguins green-lighting Marian II: Gaborik’s Revenge.

Honestly, the Penguins should be put in jail for instant gratification abuse if they make such a move. Going for Gaborik would cost the Penguins valuable prospects in a time when they need every cheap, entry-level deal that can fit in their cap. And let’s face it, as Bucci says, Gaborik doesn’t seem like he’ll take less money for more wins.

(Basically, Gaborik looks at this Mike Commodore photo with a mixture of stomach turning disgust and envy.)

The most interesting possibility would probably be adding Gaborik to the Habs’ 100th Anniversary celebration. They have expendable young players, cap space they originally aimed at Mats Sundin and perhaps the most justification for a one season fling.

The Canadiens already have a sexy combination of beautiful, classic jerseys and gifted forwards.

Imagine adding Gaborik’s unparalleled speed and fantastic sniping abilities to a cast of characters that includes the ludicrously skilled Alex Kovalev, the Kostitsyn brothers, Tomas “The Mechanic” Plekanec, Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu and Andrei Markov.

That sounds like the best solution to an unfortunate situation. As long as Bob Gainey doesn’t offer him a crazy long-term contract.