DEAL: Marian Gaborik to Los Angeles for a second round pick and a conditional third.
The Los Angeles Kings are in dire need of scoring, and it wasn’t a fact lost on them. Their current scoring clip is just over two goals per game, which barely bests the two worst-scoring teams in the NHL, Calgary and Buffalo. Enter Marian Gaborik.
The name Marian Gaborik, at this point, is a lot sexier than the player himself. He’s tallied just 14 points in 22 games this season, a mere six of which are goals. I’m not a big fan of avoiding talent because the talent has had bad injury luck in the past, but Gaborik seems really prone to getting hurt, which is a scary concept in playoffs. And, when you’re a scorer who’s made his hay in large part thanks to being speedy, age can be a real drag.
In short, I’m not sure the Kings found the guy they’re looking for. He’ll definitely provide some offense, but on a team that dines on its team defense, I’m skeptical that it’ll be worth it.
Going back to Columbus is Matt Frattin, a second round pick, and a third round pick (conditional). For a team on the brink of playoffs like Columbus – to whom making playoffs would mean a great deal – it seems like a waste to ship out one of your legitimate NHL talents for future picks. I’m almost always in favour of getting something rather than nothing for a player going to UFA, but I’d have rather have seen Columbus consider him a rental and make a playoff push than do the “smart” thing in this case.
The Blue Jackets haven’t had Gaborik much of the year and they’ve been fine, so maybe that’s Jarmo Kekalainen’s line of thinking, but I would’ve preferred to see them look at this season a bit more aggressively.
I can see what both GMs were thinking, but I’m not sure either one got what they needed here.