New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik will miss the start of next season while recovering from shoulder labrum surgery.
So a team already lacking offensive punch will have that much more motivation to acquire another scorer. This development will intensify the franchise’s interest in Blue Jackets power forward Rick Nash.
The Rangers also lost some offensive depth when winger Mats Zuccarello, who scored 26 points in 52 NHL games over two years, opted to play in the KHL next season. Zuccharello had 64 points in 55 games during his final season in the Swedish Elite League, 2009-10, and he scored 65 points in 73 AHL games the last two seasons.
Gaborik played the final two rounds of the playoffs with the injury. “I tried to put it aside and just play through it,’ Gaborik told New York reporters in a conference call. “Everybody is banged up at that point. I just tried not to think about it.”
His so-so play drew criticism from coach John Tortorella, who never disclosed that his star winger was playing with a significant injury.
“Gabby still has to learn, I believe, along with a number of our guys . . . that when you get to the conference finals — and Gabby wasn’t bad in the first two rounds — as it ratchets up and there are four teams left, you have to get it to another level, and I don’t think he was able to,” Tortorella told ESPN Radio in New York.
It’ll be interesting to see if Tortorella’s treatment of Gaborik impacts his team’s ability to attract offensive help in free agency.