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Report: Gaborik Facing Surgery, May Have Played Last Game With Wild

Jan 1, 2009 – 6:50 PM
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Bruce Ciskie

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I have to give major props to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He has done some wonderful reporting on the Marian Gaborik saga in Minnesota, and his latest work may be his most significant.

In a blog post on the newspaper's web site Thursday afternoon, Russo dropped quite a bombshell on the health of Gaborik, who has missed the last three games after experiencing more pain in his wonky groins.
Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from an always iron-clad source telling me that Marian Gaborik went to Colorado to see a specialist over the break. I wrote that in today's paper because I got it confirmed from a secondary source.

What I didn't write today is that the source also said it was recommended Gaborik have season-ending surgery ... (assistant GM Tom) Lynn confirmed to me that over the next two days, the Wild is examining all of its Gaborik options. The most likely, it appears, is for Gaborik to have surgery on what Lynn described as a "hip deficiency" that's been causing Gaborik groin pain all year.
If what Russo reports ends up being true, there's a good chance that Marian Gaborik has played his final game for the Minnesota Wild.

I'm fully aware that this is hardly an announcement or any kind of certainty. There's also the chance that Gaborik could return late in the season if everything goes well.

However, this is absolutely horrific news on all fronts.

The team is already suffering, and they will probably continue to. Yeah, they beat San Jose in overtime Wednesday night. But there's a reason why this club has won four games all month, and it's that they can't score. Not having a guy who scored 40 goals last season is not going to help matters much.

It's a double-whammy for the Wild, too. The front office had been looking at trading Gaborik, and now that will be impossible. He's a free agent after the season, so unless the Wild can work something out, he's likely to walk. Considering that he's never been perceived to be getting along with head coach Jacques Lemaire, there's little incentive for him to stay.

For Gaborik, this is terrible news. He turned down a reported $8 million a year offer from the Wild before the season, and now he has a zero percent chance of getting that kind of money on the open market. Why would you commit big dollars to a guy who couldn't play during his contract year?
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