Aug 13, 2014, 5:22 PM EST
This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
1. Marian Gaborik (371)
2. Mikko Koivu (229)
3. Zach Parise (176)
4. Wes Walz (62)
5. Andrew Brunette (53)
6. Niklas Backstrom (31)
He’s the greatest goalscorer in Minnesota Wild history, and now he tops this list.
Marian Gaborik — drafted third overall in 2000 by the Wild — spent his first eight NHL seasons in Minnesota and produced some of the greatest highs in the club’s infancy. In 2002-03, the 20-year-old Slovak led the team to its first-ever playoff appearance on the strength of a 30-goal campaign, then put forth a remarkable postseason in which he scored 17 points in 18 games, leading the Wild all the way to the Western Conference Final.
(That spring, Gaborik finished one point shy of the playoff scoring lead — shared by New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner and Scott Niedermayer — even though the Devils’ duo played in six more games.)
In 2007-08, Gaborik recorded the greatest offensive campaign in franchise history: 42 goals and 83 points, finishing seventh in the Rocket Richard race and 11th in Hart Trophy voting.
Gaborik was an original Wild that made his rookie debut (at 18) during the team’s inaugural campaign, but his time in Minnesota wasn’t entirely rosy. He missed the first month of the 2003-04 campaign to a contract holdout and spent much of his last season injured, appearing in just 17 games. It’s possibly why voting was so split.
- In praise of the Hamburglar 9
- Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving 5
- Connor McDavid is just on fire right now 12
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 35
- Video: P.K. Subban illustrates hockey instincts through GoPro camera perspective 5
- Video: Lundqvist could be back in 10 to 14 days 7
- Isles’ Martin suspended one game for ‘reckless’ knee on Daley 14
- More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger 23
- Fehr willing to give Panthers ‘a reasonable opportunity’ to redevelop market 52
- Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit 39
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (173)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (78)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)