Almost as quickly as free agency began, Marian Gaborik was gone from the Minnesota Wild.
Gaborik’s decided to sign a long-term deal with the New York Rangers, putting an appropriate ending to a career that blended brilliant play with the all-too-often "DNP – groin injury."
Gaborik was the last remaining original Wild player. He’s the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and its first-ever draft pick.
Credentials like that would leave an outsider to think his departure has left a big hole on the team and an even bigger one in the hearts of its fans. But that really isn’t the case.
Most of the Wild fans I talk – and yes, save your jokes, they do exist – feel Gaborik needs a change of scenery and are more than happy with the Wild choosing to accomodate.
He had a five-goal game, and he managed to shine in a defensively driven system. Yet Gaborik is a guy that only played more than 65 games in a season once in the last five seasons. He played just 17 games for the Wild last year, making it impossible for the team to trade him in the final year of his contract.
And on the first day of free agency – just like that – he’s gone. Again.
To leave you on a good note, here’s Gaborik’s five goals from that game against, who else, the New York Rangers.