DETROIT – As if he wasn’t already one of the game’s most lightning-fast game-breakers, you can bet Marian Gaborik will have an extra jolt in his stride when he faces the Wild on Saturday night.
But he’s not the only New York Ranger looking to torch his old team.
“I’m not looking for a fight. I’m looking for a goal,” heavyweight, and recent … goal scorer Derek Boogaard said, laughing.
In the most highly anticipated Wild game of the season, there could be a lot of “BOO”ing coming from the overstuffed Xcel Energy Center crowd. As long as Boogaard plays, there’s sure to be a return of those endearing “Boo” sounds fans loved to rain on him. But there’s also a possibility Gaborik, the all-time leader in virtually every offensive category in Wild history, hears a few himself, even on “Marian Gaborik Bobblehead” Night.
“I mean, I can guarantee you they’re going to boo him,” Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck said. “But I don’t know whether that’s out of them not liking him or them just being upset we don’t have him anymore.”
The reception Gaborik, 28, receives should be interesting. Some fans grew tired of Gaborik’s infamous groin problems. Some were upset he turned down $78.5 million over 10 years, then got injured, which made it impossible for the former regime to trade him before his contract expired.
And some are simply upset the Wild lacks anything close to an equivalent scoring threat.
Gaborik, who scored 219 goals and 437 points in 502 games with the Wild, missed last year’s St. Paul homecoming because of a leg injury, so veteran and Gaborik friend Andrew Brunette said: “A year ago might have been a different story for the fans. Time kind of changes and heals different things. I think the people I’ve talked to, you come to appreciate him when he’s gone.”
As Clutterbuck said, “Love him or hate him, they loved him when he was scoring goals.”
- New York Rangers Updates: Derek Boogaard, Todd White, and Derek Stepan (bleacherreport.com)
- New York Rangers’ Marian Gaborik has first ice time since injury (sports.espn.go.com)