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UFA of the Day: Marian Gaborik

Jun 12, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Marian Gaborik Getty Images

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Marian Gaborik

The best day of the year for Gaborik — at least so far — had to be March 5 when the Columbus Blue Jackets traded him to the Los Angeles Kings.

Before that, Gaborik was starting to look like a player on the decline. He was once again plagued by injuries this season and didn’t seem to fit in with the Blue Jackets during the brief periods of time that he was healthy. Combine that with a lackluster 2013 campaign and we started to have the makings of a trend.

The Kings have proven to be a great fit for him though as he was able to quickly connect with Anze Kopitar. He asserted himself as the missing element on a team that had struggled offensively and with the Kings just one victory away from claiming the Stanley Cup, Gaborik is arguably a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate with 13 goals and 21 points in 25 contests.

After all he’s done for them, the Kings would presumably love to have him back, but his success might have priced them out of the market, as they already have $62.3 million in cap space committed to 18 players, per LA Kings Insider.

He will still be a high-risk signing given his recent and historic health problems, but that was true when he hit the market in 2009 as well and that didn’t deter the Rangers from handing him a five-year, $37.5 million deal. Teams might seek a shorter contract length this time around given Gaborik’s age, but he will likely be looking for a similar annual salary, and he might get it given his status as one of the best skill forwards projected to be on the market.

  1. pjblake2redwings - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Gaborik will finally get his name on the Cup followed by some fat contract offers regardless if he stays with the Kings or not. Glad to see him bounce back and prove he is still an amazing sniper with the puck. Where does everyone think he will sign with come FA?

    • 950003cups - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      Season isn’t over. As of now the only place his name is written is on the back of his jersey.

      • jziii - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        He said “will.” It’s a pretty good bet at this point.

    • chief361 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      i think there’s a solid chance of a richards buyout and a gabby signing in LA. depends on whether the kings want an oft-injured but dangerous sniper in gaborik or a slowly declining yet still serviceable 2-way forward in richards. my reasoning for my belief in a solid chance is that gabby, when healthy, can still potentially add 30+ goals for the kings in the regular season which is where they lack. perhaps those 30+ goals could equal a higher seed in the playoffs. or perhaps he could be side-lined with a groin injury for 60 games…


      a wild fan

  2. avscup - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Dude has kinda helped his cause! He’d be a great fit in CO like LA where he wouldn’t have to be the man for the rest of the team to lean on.

    • pjblake2redwings - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      Avs would be a great fit. If they dont resign Stastny they could definetly afford him too.

    • thethorntonstrokes - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Could you imagine him next to Datsyuk? My god that would be must-see TV

      • pjblake2redwings - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Datsyuk centering a line with Gaborik and Zetterburg on the wings… whoa! Mind Blown!

      • avscup - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        They would get abused without any toughness on the team. It would be sick though.

    • Kristenaux - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      You took the words right outta my mouth. He’s able to be a part of a team instead of the pressure of being ‘the man’. Which also comes with a lot of criticism if the game is lost, regardless if the man has anything to do with that loss.
      I think he’s perfect right where he is and I wish him all the best.

    • purpleguy - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Watch him on the defensive end for an entire game, particularly during the regular season, and you’ll question whether he’s worth a ton of FA dough. If he doesn’t play with responsible two-way players, like Kouivu in MN and Kopitar in LA, there’s trouble.

      • avscup - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        Indeed. I could see him with Oreilly and Landy, 2 very responsible players in the D end. Not sure he’s worth the $$ though even with his SC performance this year.

  3. trolltoll11 - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Gabby is gonna get paid. When he was with NYR he gave us his heart and soul. Happy he has reinvented himself but would like to see his name on Lord Stanley a different year, not this year. Never really understood why he was run out of town. Had two +40 goal seasons for us. If the Kings do finish us off I think he has been the most consistent player for LA and deserves the Conn Smythe. Quick has been lights out but hasn’t been as consistent as 12 this playoffs.

    • justinpecora50 - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      He was run out of Minnesota for the same reason, except for the 2002 playoffs, and this year, he was invisable, plus his backchecking was horrible, and that didn’t sit well with Torts. It looks he’s been rejunvenated in LA.

      • trolltoll11 - Jun 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        All good points justin.

      • chief361 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:38 AM

        he was not run out of MN. he walked as a UFA. our old regime didn’t want to pay gaborik and was too stupid to trade him.

  4. flyboystransport - Jun 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Mike Richards may get bought out. If he does gaborik then he becomes affordable

  5. paulerhythm - Jun 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Jewels from the Crown blog has reported that Gaborik as agreed to something to the Kings and won’t be announced until after the post season is over.
    As for Mike Richards, the Kings are NOT buying out Mike Richards. His leadership and the knack for winning when it matters is so invaluable to the Kings. Also, maybe down the road the Kings may entertain trading him for players and draft picks.
    Those that won’t be resigned, unfortunately, are Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell and possibly, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan. If the rumors are true about Gaborik, they need that cap space to give that to Gaborik.

  6. johnmr12 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I think Gabby signs with the Kings. He knows what it’s like to make a ton of money and be unhappy on a losing team, and now he knows what it’s like to be on a winning team that has a legitimate shot at the cup for the next few years. He doesn’t seem like the type of guy who is going to just go to the team that offers the most money. Maybe I’m naïve, but I say he takes less to stay in LA.

  7. rsmaggiemae - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Gabby was not run out of Minny, he was the biggest cry baby ever,wanted everything his way or no way at all…. he thought his you know what didnt stink.’
    I was glad to see him go, not a team player at all with the Wild, he wanted to be the IT player and no one else to do better than him…

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