FYI, edited a few things at the light of day. Wanted to also make clear neither side said they were done talking, although they’ve been talking for awhile. Also, Risebrough wouldn’t comment when asked if he’d continue negotiating into the season.
The Marian Gaborik negotiations have hit a stalemate, and GM Doug Risebrough told me today he won’t be signed by the Oct. 11 opener.
“Not making any headway,” said Risebrough, who last month said it would be prudent to sign Gaborik, the team’s all-time leading scorer, to an extension by next Saturday’s season opener.
“I was trying to do something before the season. It’s not happening. … It’s not going to happen by the start of the season.”
Asked if he’ll react by putting Gaborik on the trading block, Risebrough said, “That, I’ll have to determine.”
Asked if he’s already started talking to other teams, Risebrough said, “I’m not going to comment anymore.”
It should be noted that previously when asked that same question, Risebrough had said emphatically, “I’m not talking to anybody, and I’m not interested in talking to anybody.”
I won’t rehash every detail I put in tomorrow’s paper. (Here’s the story). You can read Gaborik and the rest of Risebrough in there, and my analysis on the situation. But I will put up this quote from agent Ron Salcer.
Funny story, but I talked to Salcer while he was at a golf tournament on a cart next to Marty McSorley. McSorley jokingly threatened me. I jokingly told him I’d keep my head up, hehe.
“We have no obligation other than Marian to honor his contract and play hard,” Salcer said. “That’s his job and that’s what he’ll do. It’s their team. They’re entitled to run it the way they want to run it. We haven’t come to an amicable conclusion and we’ll see how they proceed. If they decide they want to move him, that’s their decision.”
I’ve got to tell you, this ain’t no bluff. Look at Salcer’s history. Ground-breaking contracts for Dave Taylor, Pavel Bure, Ed Belfour, Rob Blake and lots of others.
When L.A. wouldn’t sign Blake years ago for $9 million per, the Kings dealt him to Colorado and the Avs did just that.
Salcer believes someone will pay Marian Gaborik $9.5 million-10 million on the open market next summer, I think. And maybe he’s right. Los Angeles perhaps. How about Vancouver?
As I wrote tomorrow, usually these type of blockbusters are made among chums.
For instance, former Edmonton GM Glen Sather and the Rangers’ Neil Smith were tight in the 1990s. Sather dealt New York players like Mark Messier, Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe and Esa Tikkanen.
Sather and then-Calgary GM Cliff Fletcher are tight. The two could never make a trade because of the Battle of Alberta, but when Fletcher went to Toronto the first time in 1991, within a month, Grant Fuhr and Glenn Anderson were on the Maple Leafs.
Risebrough’s buddies? Montreal’s Bob Gainey, Toronto’s Fletcher and the Rangers’ Sather (Sather and Risebrough spent some time fishing in Alaska this summer, and the two have homes virtually next door to each other in Banff).
Of course, what can you get for a player who looks intent on becoming a free agent?
I think Pittsburgh is a strong possibility, too.