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Jackets’ GM wants ‘more’ from Gaborik

Nov 1, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Marian Gaborik Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets gave up a fair bit to get Marian Gaborik. Soon they’ll have to decide how badly they want to keep him.

Gaborik, 31, is a pending unrestricted free agent. So it’s fair to say general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will want to know where the two sides stand prior to the March 5 trade deadline.

At this point in time, Kekalainen doesn’t sound 100-percent convinced that Gaborik can be what the club wants him to be, which is the “driving force of the team.”

“I think he’s done a lot of good things,” Kekalainen said, per The Columbus Dispatch. “And I think he could do more.”

Kekalainen added: “He’s at the point in his career where he could take the next step in that area. He’s proven he can score points, score goals. I want to believe that even a 30-year-old or a 35-year-old player can get better, and that’s one area that I want to see more from him.”

With 10 points in 10 games, Gaborik is the Jackets’ leading scorer; however, it’s worth noting that his average ice time is just 17:07, which isn’t exactly a “driving force” amount.

  1. ibieiniid - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    i mean, is being next to Anisimov and Foligno (and i believe rookie Boone Jenner for a while) really the best opportunity for him to thrive?

    • xdj511 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      If I’m remembering correctly Anisimov was on a line with Gabby with the Rangers two years ago and they had great chemistry together… so much so that Torts actually left them alone for almost half a season!

      • ibieiniid - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Valid point. But then again, Gaborik’s best days weren’t when he was with the Rangers, but the Wild. I don’t get what more they want him to strive toward, but if they’re looking for him to repeat his MIN days of over a point per game in several consecutive seasons, I think that ship has sailed.

  2. xdj511 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    So you trade for an enigmatic, oft-injured sniper. He’s off to a point-per-game pace this season and you bash him in the press and say that you expect more from him? Ouch. After watching Gabby with the Rangers all those years, all I can say now is don’t be surprised if you look up in 10 more games and see that he still has 10 points.

  3. 19to77 - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Of all the players in Columbus, I don’t think I’d single out the team-leading point-per-game pending free agent as the guy who needs to do more.

  4. crazemastercraze - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Gaborik will be remembered for having enormous talent who enormously under achieved when it counted

  5. DED - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Why didn’t Columbus re-sign their top scorer from last year, Vinnie Prospal? The first year Gaborik was in NY, he played on a line with Prospal and Gabby had 40 goals! Duh! This GM doesn’t appear to be any smarter than the last one.

  6. flash8910 - Nov 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    I got it. When you say “more”, you mean you want “more” than what you gave up for him. Because it seems like you guys will be selling at the trade deadline.

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