Posted on: July 6, 2009 8:45 pm
The Minnesota Wild and winger Marian Gaborik have finally parted ways after 9 extremely rocky seasons. When it was good it was really good and when it was bad it was really bad. I'm referring of course to fan support for Gaborik over those 9 seasons. While I myself am a very open Blues fan I do live in Minnesota and have my whole life so obviously I watch a lot of Wild games and follow the team reasonable close and my opinion has always stayed the same about Marian which is that he is an offensive force and after the big three (Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin) he can be as good offensively as anybody in the league, BUT he only managed to play four full seasons in nine years for the Wild. To me a full season is 75+ games. So I can see why some Minnesota fans are happy about the arrival of Martin Havlat and the exit of Marian Gaborik but why exactly are some fans SO excited?
Last time I checked Martin Havlat hasn't been the poster boy for good health. He's played in eight NHL seasons and, to my standards, has had one full season. The good news is that his first ever 75+ season came last year with the Hawks the bad news that comes with that is the fact that he played a lot of third line hockey last year. He won't be a third liner for the Wild, second line is as far as he'll be allowed to drop so his ice time is going to increase and the wear and tear on his body will be more this year than last year. To me that equals a very risky signing.
Now to some stat comparisons.
I have to say that Martin Havlat is one of my favorite NHL players, I think he's really impressive offensively and his goal against Columbus two seasons ago was brilliant and showed how dominant he can be offensively. Then last year happened and my fanhood for him shrank a little bit. I always talked Havlat up big to my friends and always said that when he played a full season he was going to go nuts and have 90+ points and 50 goals. Well he did play a full season last year and not only did he not even hit 80 points he didn't even hit the 30 goal mark. So yeah my feeling about his offensive game has changed a bit. I mean three years ago when he played 56 games with the Hawks he netted 25 goals and last year with 25 more games played he only scored 4 more goals than that 56 game campaign. With that being said he is still a very above average winger offensively.
Now onto Marian Gaborik. Last year Gaborik only played in 17 games but in those 17 games he netted 13 goals and had 23 points. The season prior to last he played in 77 games and had 42 goals and 41 assists and that is one hell of a season. Gaborik has had 5 30 or more goal seasons in 9 years, not too shabby if you ask me. A lot of people who I have debated with have brought up the fact that they think Havlat is a much better two way player and all I have to say to that is that Gaborik is a plus 54 in his career so Im not sure Havlat is that much better defensively than Gabby.
In the end both Gaborik and Havlat get hurt A LOT and they both are REALLY good offensively. Only one of them has had a 40 goal season and only one has had more than one full healthy season. That one is Marian Gaborik. The conclusion I've made which was probably sensed the entire time is that I would take Marian Gaborik over Martin Havlat if I was starting a team from scratch. With all of that said and done I hope both players dominate next year for their respective teams so that we can really compare two full season for each in the same year and really see who without a doubt is the better winger.
Posted on: December 6, 2008 4:11 am
I just wanted to touch on a few topics that I'm sure many Minnesota sports fan's are discussing. The first being Kevin and Pat Williams suspensions, and well non suspensions. Im really anxious to see how this plays out. Currently the suspensions have been blocked by the court, but here's my problem with this. The Williams are going to play against the Lions because of the block but if they still end up getting the suspensions then the Vikings will have to play their first playoff game without the Williams wall and that would be devastating to our chances so I think this block could end up hurting the Vikings more than helping them, that is if the suspensions are upheld. I personally think the Vikings can slide into the playoffs without the Williams wall but I dont see us winning a playoff game without them, so I almost wish they just would have served the suspension, but again this is only if the suspensions are upheld after the court makes a decision on this.
Next up on my list is the potential Twins signing of Casey Blake. I am currently in an argument with two of my friends over this potential signing. They both say this is a typical move by the twinkies to bring in an old player who will do absolutely nothing to help the team. They reference players such as Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, Craig Monroe, Tony Batista, Phil Neven, Ruben Sierra, and Livan Hernandez. I am personally offended for Casey Blake that they would even consider putting him into this grouping. All of the players mentioned were coming off of terrible and I mean terrible seasons before the Twins signed them. The only exception is Batista who was not even in baseball the season prior to the Twins signing him. Blake is coming off of a 21 Homer / 81 RBI season which eclipses the rest of those players stats the season before they were signed. I always let them know that I dont think he will put these numbers up in Minnesota, but there is no evidence to show that he won't be productive in our lineup. They are completely basing their opinion on Blake's age while I am basing mine on his numbers. Giving Blake a 2 year deal for 6 mill would not be a mistake. I don't believe we should give him a third year which he wants since we do have Tolbert and Boucher who can play 3rd but if he will sign for 2 years we need to get the deal done. All this being said, I doubt the Twins get him signed.
Last but not least, Marian Gaborik. Gaborik and the Wild's relationship status is currently "separated." It's obvious Gabby wants out of Minnesota and I would argue that he's not even hurt right now, he's just waiting for the Wild to get a trade done. So why is the trade taking so long ? The Wild publicly stated that they are willing to trade him so why has nobody come up with a good enough deal yet ? I know Gaborik has a pretty nice injury list but he had a great season last year and can still be one of the best offensive players in the game when healthy. I'm really interested to see what the Wild actually get in return for him. I would guess a draft pick and a young player, or a draft pick and an established center, which by the way I personally would do if I was Minnesota. The only reason I can see for this deal taking so long is that teams want Gaborik to sign with them if they trade for him, and I really think Marian wants to pick his own team after this season, but if that's what game Gabby is playing them sell him for even a cheaper price so you can get another player to help your current team right now, and a 2nd or 3rd round pick and get this drama over with already. It's obvious the Wild don't need him to be successful since their defensive system is so good, so it's time to get this over with.