By Michael Russo
(updated: Gaborik unavailable tonight. Jumped on Glen Sather conference call, quotes below)
TSN is reporting Marian Gaborik has signed a five-year deal with the New York Rangers worth $5.75 million per.
If healthy, absolute bargain for one of the game’s great scorers, one who lit up the Rangers two seasons ago for five goals. Put this in perspective. He made $7.5 million last year with the Wild (17 games played), and averaged $6.33 million the past three years.
MAJOR CORRECTION: TSN NOW REPORTS $7.5 MILLION PER…MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE
I think my source was dead-on of Salcer’s 10 year, $75 million asking price, eh? Same contract, just cut in half.
I’d still give Slats Exec of the Year. Gets Higgins and McDonagh for Gomez, and now Gaborik. Like I said, it all depends on Gaborik’s health, but Gaborik is confident the two hip surgeries solves his years of abdominal problems.
Brian Gionta’s signed with Montreal…
Martin Havlat, Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, Nik Antropov, Saku Koivu left. Ales Kotalik probably on the tier right after that (four 20-goal seasons) and Mikael Samuelsson. Ruslan Fedotenko, I put, in a different category because he’s got skill, but not as big a finisher but a proven winner.
But there’s a lot of pressure to get Havlat done if you’re the Wild now.
Sather on Gaborik:
“[Heatley] didn’t fall apart. It was a complicated scenario that we were dealing with. We needed to have more than one ball in the air. I had a pretty good idea he was interested in coming to New York. It took us a very long time to get a deal done, and I’m very happy to get him signed. … We accepted the deal on our terms.”
“Gaborik was the guy we had targeted from the beginning.”
“He scored 13 goals in 17 games. His health was fine. We don’t expect he’ll have any problems.”
“He had a point a game under Jacques Lemaire. It’ll be very interesting to see what he can do under a John Tortorella system. We’re going to have an up-tempo, speed game, and this guy fits the bill to a T.”