Saturday, November 7, 2009

In defense of Mr. Gaborik

A Fox Sports article recently listed Marian Gaborik as one of the top 10 overpaid players in the NHL.


Overpaid? I mean, his salary is $7.5 million a year. That ain't ice chips of course - but Gaborik isn't your average player either.

Look at it this way - Gabby has 22 percent of all the Ranger goals this season. And this is from a system that runs 4 lines and gets goals from their defensemen too.

It could take a half dozen other players to produce Gaborik"s goal output. So in that context - his salary makes perfect sense.

And he's not one of these guys who just gets his goals by outshooting everyone else (see: Ovechkin). Gaborik's goals-per-shots-on-goal is an unreal 20 percent. That is - one out of every 5 shots Marian puts on net - goes "in net". That is nearly double what a lot of stars can shoot and is 3 or 4 times what many players can do. So Gaborik isn't taking shots (and goals) away from his teammates. Which means the other Rangers are scoring more - not less - with Gabs in the line up.

And there's more. He's willing to serve on the thankless Penalty Kill team - which helps us tremendously. Other teams on the man-advantage will play back on their skate-heels knowing that one error will send Gaborik on a breakaway. As a result - instead of attacking - the other team is watching Gaborik. This helps our PK to be one of the top units in the league.

And then there's the knock that he's easily injured. All I've seen is that Marian plays hurt. The hip issues have not resurfaced. And he's missed less games this year than Brashear or Avery - two of the toughest guys you'll ever see. So far Gaborik has played in 88 percent of our games. And I would take 88 percent of Mr. Gaborik over 100 percent of almost any other player in the NHL.

So, overpaid? No. I'd say Marian Gaborik is a bargain and I'm very happy he's a New York Ranger. Congratulations to Glen Sather and John Tortorella from bringing him in here.

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