Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Although most have assumed Gaborik’s Wild career will end after the season, General Manager Doug Risebrough said Thursday the Wild is considering making a short-term contract proposal to Gaborik.
“I envisioned signing him this year. It didn’t work out. Now maybe this is a way to make it work out based on the existing circumstances,” Risebrough said.
The “existing circumstances” Risebrough’s referring? With the salary cap expected to decrease significantly in two summers, it’ll be difficult for Gaborik to sign a long-term deal with any team this summer, especially considering he has been limited to six games and has had three injury-shortened seasons in the past four.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tibune,
Gaborik, out since Jan. 5 following hip surgery, headed to Vail on Wednesday night to be examined by surgeon Marc Philippon.
Lemaire said, “He asked me to skate with us [this] morning.”
However, when told Gaborik said to a reporter he didn’t know if he would skate tonight, Lemaire said: “See, that’s why we can’t make a comment because we don’t know what’s going on. I guess if he feels like skating [today], if he wakes up and he feels like he can go and skate with us, he will. And if he wakes up and doesn’t feel that skating will be part of his day, he won’t.”
read on for more on Pierre-Marc Bouchard
From Derek Felska at The State of Hockey News:
Any team more or less makes a covenant with its fans to do the absolute best it can. In the case of the fans, they have shown incredible devotion and dedication to the Minnesota Wild selling out every home game in team history up to this point. The fans have made its merchandise amongst the top selling teams in the league, and have filled the arena to over 100% capacity for the last few seasons. That covenant is a trust between fans and ownership. The actions or in this case the inaction of this team is a huge betrayal of that trust. With the team’s fortunes this season clearly heading south, the Wild opted not to be a big seller and chose not to trade soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Stephane Veilleux, Martin Skoula, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, or star winger Marian Gaborik. It seems strange a team that will likely not qualify for the post season did not even attempt to trade off assets with the hope of acquiring picks or prospects for the future.
At the Star-Tribune, Michael Russo notes there was some action in Minnesota yesterday, but it fell apart:
While the Wild won’t confirm what “major deal” it was involved in until Wednesday morning, sources say General Manager Doug Risebrough continued his longtime quest for Jokinen, the former Florida Panthers captain who was ultimately traded from Phoenix to the Calgary Flames.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune:
I am told by a very good source that Marian Gaborik is in play right now, meaning the Wild’s working the phones.
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Minnesota Wild have signed star goalie Niklas Backstrom to a $24 million, four-year contract, a source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and he had been the subject of numerous trade rumors.
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Expected then to be back in 10 to 14 weeks, Gaborik, said he believes he’s ahead of schedule but said his return would depend on his upcoming workouts.
“I feel really good,” he said, adding that training at nearly 8,000 feet of elevation, skating, swimming and working out in Vail “definitely helps.”
He called Vail “the best place to rehab,” but said his skating has been limited to hitting the ice without pads and equipment.
That changes Thursday, when he will begin zeroing in on getting back into the lineup. The Wild have made the target date between March 10 and March 20.
“I’m going to come back and skate with gear on and progress, and when that time will come, I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said.
more and Marian talks about his future too…
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
“How can I begin to think I’m going to compete for a playoff spot by trading Backstrom?” Risebrough said. “Now, that’s showing you my motivation. I don’t know what somebody else’s motivation is. To say ‘never’ is illogical, and I don’t want to be hung with that because I don’t know what somebody might offer me.
“If somebody says, ‘I really want to overpay,’ well, then what do I do? Now they put me in a dilemma. But I’ve told you my motivation.”
Asked if that includes Marian Gaborik, whom Risebrough also says he’d prefer to hold onto, he answered, “Both.”
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
General Manager Doug Risebrough made it clear this weekend that, in his mind, Marian Gaborik will be the biggest acquisition the Wild makes by Wednesday’s trade deadline.
Risebrough said Gaborik, who has played six games all season, is right on schedule in his rehabilitation from left hip surgery. Even if it means the pending unrestricted free agent walks away this summer for nothing, Risebrough said he probably won’t trade Gaborik.
“[Gaborik’s] further along than we thought he was going to be,” Risebrough said. “So, I don’t know what that means other than I know it’s going to be a big shot in the arm for us when he comes back.
“And that’s one consideration when you ask, ‘How comfortable are you [with this team]?’ I’m planning on [Gaborik returning].”
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune:
Thomas Royea is 15 years old. He’s only a sophomore in high school, so trust the hockey player when he says he wishes he hadn’t broken his femur.
But one special thing came from it. “It’s not every day a kid gets a call from an NHL player,” Royea said.
Royea, who lives in the small northern Michigan town of Negaunee, is a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan, but he’s now a Kurtis Foster fan for life.
*thanks to a KK reader for passing this on
Craig Custance of Sporting News Today recently conducted an interview with Wild owner Craig Leipold.
Leipold says Gaborik is making great strides with his rehab and is confident Marian will be part of the playoff run for the Wild.
Read the interview here which include numerous hockey topics…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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