Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Marian Gaborik Soap Opera

In our last episode, we learned Wild GM Doug Risebrough and assistant GM Tom Lynn flew to Slovakia in order to talk contract with the star left-winger. Marian Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, said that the Wild impressed Gaborik, in an article by The Star Tribune. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for how they handled that," says Salcer about the four-hour dinner. It also has come out that there were rumors that Gaborik might sign with Russian league team Spartak, although that has been fiercely downplayed and denied. While Salcer says his client was impressed with the meeting, whether he was impressed enough to resign is still a mystery. Risebrough says he’s open to negotiate with Gaborik during the season; allthough wheather that will be a distraction to the team is open for discussion. In a story, Risebrough reveals that the Wild’s next move will come in the form of a proposal, which shouldn’t surprise anybody.

Gaborik is set to make 7.5 million this year, and the Wild are expected to offer him 8.5 million, but he could potentially get a lot more than that on a weak Free Agent market next year. Yes, Cammalleri, Afinogenov, Cole, Zetterberg, Connolly, Zherdev, Tanguay, Gaborik, Sykora, Sullivan, The Sedins, Niedermayer, McDonald, Gionta, Franzen, Comrie, etc. Are on the potential FA market has some big names on it, but expect half to three- fourths of those guys to get re-signed. If Gaborik doesn’t re- up with the Wild, I could easily see him going over ten million for a one year tenure.

In my opinion, if Gaborik won’t re- sign, the Wild front office won’t pony- up with enough cash, or even if his price tag doesn’t come down, the Wild should look elsewhere. Gaborik has a history of injuries, and, to be honest, Lemaire’s system doesn’t play to Gabby’s strengths at all. I think the Wild would be better off in the long run if the Wild were to trade him around the trade deadline, and here’s why: at the deadline, Gaborik’s price comes down, so he’ll look better to other teams, which will put his trade value at a premium. We then shop him around to a couple teams, maybe looking for three or four good young players or prospects that project well and that fit Jacques’ system better. That way, we could have what we really need, and let some other team worry about his contract.