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Blue Jackets in no hurry to re-sign Gaborik

Jul 11, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

MarianGaborik

Marian Gaborik is getting ready to enter the last season of his five-year, $37.5 million contract, but the Blue Jackets aren’t scrambling to lock him up.

“We want to get more familiar with him, get to know him better,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “Sure, we’re thinking about it already, but we’re going to let it go into the season, hope to see him score a lot of goals for us and then talk about getting him extended.”

The Blue Jackets made a big splash by acquiring Gaborik in April, but he’s coming off of a rough season where he scored 12 goals and 27 points in 47 games. The 31-year-old forward’s tenure with the New York Rangers was a mixed bag of impressive highs and frustrating lows.

Now the Columbus Blue Jackets are hoping Gaborik can be an offensive leader on a team that’s fighting to make the playoffs and earn their first postseason win as a franchise. If Gaborik impresses early on and it looks like he’ll be a big help towards that goal, then Kekalainen is likely to offer him a sizable contract extension.

Related:

Jackets ‘not sure’ about making offer to leading scorer Prospal

  1. DED - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    In other words, “If he has a mediocre season, we’re gonna let him walk.”

    • missthemexpos - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      And if he has a good season, be prepared to open up the wallet.

  2. pirovash88 - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    A very smart move imo, it’s looking good for the Blue Jackets, either way they’re finally starting to look like Playoff contenders.

    • sabatimus - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Smart move? The reason they won’t lock him up is because they just picked up Horton, knowing he’d need shoulder surgery, on a patently absurd contract. Gaborik is a better player.

      Kekalainen should be fired.

      • DED - Jul 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Gaborik has had his share of injuries. Ask any jaded Minnesota Wild fan.

  3. Victor - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    The new Columbus management is much improved. The old team would’ve signed him already to a 10 year extension for an astronomical sum. Or maybe trade him for a 7th round pick.

    • polegojim - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      So…. no Prospal… no Gaborik… ???

      Ok… so they’re looking good… but now I’m starting to shake my head again…

    • jady41 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      EXACTLY! Howson was predictable…predictable at doing something off the wall that had people here in Columbus scratching our heads saying “WHY?”

  4. pastabelly - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    With Tortorella gone in NY, there is no reason to doubt that they aren’t an option for him in 2014.

    • stakex - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      If they let him walk, obviously NY might be an option… but what does Torts have anything to do with it? Gaborik had two of his best seasons under Torts, and there was never any sign that things weren’t good between the two of them other then online speculation.

      Fact of the matter is the Rangers traded him because he was struggling (and he continued to struggle in Columbus I might add before someone blames Torts for it), and they just didn’t have the cap space for him this coming year with all the RFA’s they had to sign. While the three players they got in return do have a significant cap hit, its a couple million less then Gaboriks… and that couple million is going to be huge in re-signing Stepan and Zucc.

  5. purpleguy - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Everyone knows the guy will be out with a pulled groin or abdomen injury by February — he’s got the groin muscle structure of a 70-year old man.

  6. spochiefsfan - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Gabby has always been one of my favorite players to watch. I hope he can tear it up this season in Lumbus!!

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