Minnesota Wild: Gaborik Out, Havlat In

Jul 1, 2009

The Minnesota Wild had an interesting day.  A franchise that usually doesn’t make headlines was in the news twice today.  Marian Gaborik, the face of the Minnesota Wild for eight seasons has moved onto New York to play for the Rangers.  The Rangers will be more than happy with Gaborik’s ability, especially in a more offensive-minded system.  He will feel like the chains have been lifted getting out of Jacques Lemaire’s zone trap.  Ranger fans and future Gaborik fantasy owners need to beware though.  Gaborik has been injury-prone.  He has played in only 272 of the Wild’s 410 (66%) games the past five seasons.  The Wild fans were pretty tolerant of Gaborik’s inability to stay healthy for the most part.  This year was a little different.  They knew the Wild needed to trade him or risk getting nothing in return.  His hip injury prevented them from accomplishing that goal.  In New York though, if he isn’t on the ice, he’ll feel the heat from the fans and from the media.  I wish you the best of luck in New York.  You got what you want.  I hope you were careful what you wished for.

To replace Gaborik’s firepower the Wild added Martin Havlat.  Havlat had 77 points (29 goals, 48 assists) for the Blackhawks, who earlier signed Marian Hossa to a mega deal.  More importantly, he played in 81 games last year, although Havlat has also had a tendency to miss time.  Havlat’s deal ($5 million annually) is for $2.5 million less per season.

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