Staying or Going: Marian Gaborik

The Clash once posed the question: Should I stay or should I go now? We take a look at the big names surrounding the NHL trade deadline and whether they'll be staying in place or going to finish the season in another city.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. After giving a contract extension the good ol' college try over the summer, Minnesota Wild general manager Doug Risebrough has watched his biggest trade asset blow up in smoke. Marian Gaborik has been injured for virtually the entire season, first going down the day before Minnesota's third game of the season. For the season, Gaborik has appeared in a paltry six games. With their best player spending too much time in the training room, it's no surprise the Wild are in a struggle for their playoff lives.

Gaborik had hip surgery shortly after New Year's Day, and he's out until at least March.

Being that he's in the middle of one of the worst contract years ever, and the Wild have virtually no chance of signing him this summer, it makes perfect sense to discuss Gaborik's value on the trade market.

The problem, of course, is that we really don't know what that value is. If Gaborik can return on or around March 15, which sounds like a pretty reasonable target at this point, then there is definite value. After all, both conferences feature tight playoff races, and a player like Gaborik could make a huge difference for a team looking to get over the hump and perhaps improve their seeding.

Contract status: Signed through this season at $6.33 million per. Gaborik is making $7.5 million this season.

Cities where the interest may be mutual: N.Y. Rangers, Montreal, Los Angeles. It's been long said that Risebrough will trade with his friends, and it just so happens that he's buddies with Glen Sather and Bob Gainey, both of whom could use upgrades to their offense. Gainey probably has more attractive options to make a deal with. As for Los Angeles, it's a real longshot, but if they want to take a shot at the playoffs, they are full of young talent and would not have to make a serious financial commitment to make it happen. Don't discount Edmonton here, if only because they also have a good stock of young players that could be attractive to a Minnesota organization that's quite thin on the minor-league talent.

Where he'll end up: Gaborik is already skating, but has a test set for March 3. If he clears that hurdle, there's a small chance the Wild will deal him. It all depends on what Risebrough will want in return for a guy who will be a huge health risk, no matter how many times he says he's good to go.

Staying or Going: Marian Gaborik originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Thu, 26 Feb 2009 12:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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