For all the bad press he receives about his injuries, he only really had one fantastically long injury. I suspect bitter journalists like myself must have had him in their pools that year. He picks up niggling stuff as well (like at the moment). But let's not forget he has been a pont-per-game player on Jacques Lemaire's team since we returned from the lockout and that he has scored 30 goals in all but two of his NHL outings - even impressively during that 48 game season he had.
At the tender age of 26, Gaborik will be a major piece to any franchise who can lock him up.
He is a true talent and to dismiss him off hand because the Canadiens would have to get creative with the cap or even trade a player we currently like is silly. To say things like this:
There might come a day when the Canadiens are forced to deal Halak, but I suspect he'll fetch more than a talented, but injury-prone winger who is in a position to bolt next spring.
as Pat Hickey did today, is just downright inane. Especially if we all can force ourselves to recall the going rate for all-star Canadiens goalies from last spring. Quotes like that offend me, because, although I can appreciate the attempt at glib, it is homerish to suggest that a goalie who has played 26 NHL games is better than a 26 year-old 200 goalscorer. I like Halak as much (and probably more) than the next guy, but Gaborik is being paid $6 miilion + for a reason.
If we made the Slovak swap and were forced to get a little bit creative to open up $4 million in cap space by December, I'd be OK with it. Of course knowing that Gaborik, Koivu, Tanguay, Markov, Price and Kovalev would not be on the same team coming out of summer 2009, I'd be lamenting the impending loss of a favourite while probably learning to love the young sniper. At the end of the day, I'd still love the Habs more than teams where player 1 and 2 from the list above ended up.
So, as I see it, a Gaborik trade with the Canadiens, though probably too much work for any GM to take on, could happen. As per my earlier post, I simply don't believe that Gainey or his staff would have ever admitted to being in on the dealing - not their style.
Also for my own piece of mind, I'd be hoping that the second salary shedding trade or deal yielded someone to shield us from Cedrick Desjardins, rookie backup.
So, we're back where we started. A rumour and some fun. Nothing more.