Glen Sather doesn’t seem to know what to do with his money. The contract negotiations continue with Brandon Dubinsky, who remains a hold-out. Wade Redden, signed to a long-term 6.5-million per season contract last summer, turned out to be a second-pairing guy. There’s a list of examples going back to before the lockout, but suffice to say that Sather’s been the guy signing the craziest contracts over the last decade or so.
Sather’s target of choice this summer was Minnesota Wild winger Marian Gaborik. Gaborik was signed to a five-year, 37.5-million dollar contract this summer, and the first thing that he was asked about was his injuries:
“I feel great. I played the last 11 games of the year and I took time off after and tried to get to 100%. Now, I’m in full training, getting ready for the season. I’m very excited. I don’t see any problems down the road.”
Gaborik may not have seen any problems in July, but his injury is already causing problems – he’s missed the first two days of training camp.
Rangers coach John Tortorella commented briefly on Gaborik before lambasting Dubinsky’s holdout. Just for fun, let’s take his words about Dubinsky and apply them to Gaborik:
“You can’t miss one day. Camps are so important. When guys miss camps, it’s a struggle. A guy we thought was gonna be here, every minute that goes by, it hurts the player and it hurts the team.”
While it’s probably safe to say that Tortorella wouldn’t have been so candid about Gaborik – after all, he wasn’t – I have to think those words are as applicable to him as they are to Dubinsky – especially since Gaborik is coming to a new team and playing a radically different system.
As for the injury itself, which is rumoured to be a groin tweak, let’s just take a look at Gaborik’s injury history – in the service of brevity, I’ll limit it to post-lockout injuries – and see if this has been an issue for him before:
- March 2009: 38 games missed, hip surgery
- December 2008: 27 games missed, back injury
- November 2007: 5 games missed, groin injury
- January 2007: 34 games missed, groin strain
- November 2005: 11 games missed, hip flexor October 2005: 6 games missed, groin injury
Just for the record (because 45 missed games in four seasons may not have tipped the reader off), Gaborik missed time with groin injuries pre-lockout as well. It’s probably a fairly decent bet that whatever’s bothering Gaborik now will continue to affect him throughout the season.
One thing is certain: if both Dubinsky and Gaborik miss significant time this coming season, the New York Rangers are going to struggle to score goals; the team simply doesn’t have the offensive depth to deal with losses of that nature, and in fairness few teams would. Players like Chris Drury, Ales Kotalik, Chris Higgins and Vaclav Prospal might be very busy this winter.