By Michael Russo
OK, I was wrong. The conference call was just for the print media, not electronic. I wasn’t wrong that no new news would come out of it though.
GM Doug Risebrough just gave a little more detail to his meeting with Gaborik in Slovakia. Like I’ve written, Gaborik has been concerned about the fact the Wild hasn’t made more significant trade-deadline moves or free-agent moves in the past few years, and Risebrough went into a lot of explanation as to why that is.
He gave him detail about some of the deals he’s tried to make, but he also said Gaborik would be “let down” had he traded a guy like Mikko Koivu, whom he’s had tons and tons of calls about.
Gaborik also wanted to know whom he’ll be playing with, and Risebrough told him it’s obvious it’ll be Koivu and that James Sheppard will move into Koivu’s old role. And yes, that is unbelievably obvious when you look at the lack of depth up the middle currently on the Wild.
Of course, Jacques Lemaire is the coach, and there’s a good chance Gaborik will skate with everybody from Koivu to Mario Tremblay potentially.
Risebrough says he has not had any trade conversations regarding Gaborik and has not gotten any calls from other GM’s (which I find hard to believe on the latter). He says he’s only concentrating on signing Gaborik before the Oct. 11 opener.
He wouldn’t answer hypotheticals when asked if he feels he’d have to trade Gaborik before the season if the winger makes it clear he won’t sign an extension.
Risebrough said he doesn’t plan to respond to any trade rumors during this process. “A lot of people on your side are fiction writers, and I’m not dealing with all the fiction writers. So the best thing is not to deal with any of [the rumors].”
Risebrough said Tom Lynn will make the team’s first proposal soon. As I’ve written countless times, the Wild plans to offer between four and seven years at around $8.5 million per.
Exactly one month until training camp