Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/26/14 at 08:30 AM ET
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
With one week to go before the NHL trade deadline, signs point to the Blue Jackets treating right wing Marian Gaborik like their own late-season acquisition, not like trade bait.
Gaborik said he expects to be medically cleared today before the Blue Jackets travel to New Jersey. The Jackets end a 19-day Olympic break when they play the Devils on Thursday at the Prudential Center.
There have been no contract talks between general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, which typically is a sign that a pending unrestricted free agent, like Gaborik, is soon headed out of town. Although Kekalainen might still trade Gaborik, 32, he suggested strongly that he views Gaborik as the kind of highly skilled threat that his working-class team needs.
“I still don’t think we’ve seen the Marian Gaborik who can score big goals, and what he can mean to our power play, how he can create so much space for other guys on the ice,” Kekalainen said. “If he can play at the top of his game and bring that every night, he could be exactly what this team needs the rest of the way.
“He hasn’t lost the ability to score goals. He has been hurt; it has been unfortunate. But he’s still the same guy who scored all those goals. He’s not old. He’s worked his (butt) off to get back into our lineup.”
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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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