Update by Joe Fortunato: Marian Gaborik, Chris Higgins and Sean Avery are all out tonight. Dane Byers was called up from Hartford and Donald Brashear is back in the line-up. Henrik Lundqvist will get the start. Back to my story:
With the news coming in that Marian Gaborik
might be is out again against his former team the Minnesota Wild I want to address something. This is not a big deal.
When Glen Sather made the announcement that the New York Rangers agreed to terms with Gaborik Rangers nation rejoiced. Finally a sniper. Finally a game breaker. Finally a lethal threat who is without question a top 5 player in the league. The fans had what they wanted, and so did Glen Sather.
As the dust settled fans finally started talking about his injuries which, to be completely honest, is his only shortcoming. Now we are 13 games into the season. Gaborik is tied for second in goals(10) and third in points (18) and because of a "lower body" injury Ranger fans are up in arms. Wild fans on the other hand are dancing in the street singing "we told you so!" at the top of their lungs obviously forgetting that they signed the equally injury prone, less talented and one year older Martin Havlat.
Havlat by the way has a goal and four assists in ten games along with a whopping minus10. Oh and he is also injured right now, day-to-day with a groin injury. So when Wild fans (mainly the media who eviscerated Gaboik when he left) tell you that their management was smart for not signing Gaborik, that they are done with dealing with injury prone players, or that the Rangers were stupid for signing Gaborik remember what the Rangers got and what the Wild got.
The "bread and butter" if you will of Gaborik's past injuries has been hip and groin related. Let's break down his injuries. Since 2005 he has missed a total of 121 games. Of those missed games 83 have been because of a groin related problem, 27 due to a back surgery, and 11 due to a hip flexor. When he was evaluated last year by Wild doctors he was told that his groin injuries were occurring because of his faulty hip (and obviously so were his hip flexor injuries). So when Gaborik opted to get hip corrective surgery he was also decreasing the chances of him hurting his groin again.
All of that aside, this "lower body" injury Gaborik has is his right leg. Do you want to know how many games Gaborik has missed due to leg problems? Zero. If ANY other player on the Rangers bruised his leg/knee the way Gaborik did against the Coyotes no one would be saying anything. This is a typical "hockey injury," a minor bump or bruise that players get all the time--even the healthy ones.
So what if Gaborik doesn't play tonight. So what if he misses two or three games due to a leg/knee injury. Let him get fully healthy so that he wont hurt himself again. No need to rush him, and certainly no need to panic or let people get to you when they say "I told you so." Gaborik will be fine, he will be back to scoring goals in no time, unless of course you rush him back onto the ice so he hurts himself again.
A mistake which our Wild friends seemed to have wanted to make according to this article written by Brian Murphy in which he said this:
Distrust between player and team deepened last January when Gaborik had hip surgery after management made clear it wanted him to play through the injury.
So why don't we all calm down. Take a deep breath. Let Gaborik take his time and relax, everything is going to be okay.