Sunday, January 4, 2009

I hate to say "I told you so"...

... but then again, that's what makes blogging so darn fun.

I admire the way the Minnesota Wild have built their team over the past few years. A conservative, team-oriented approach has brought their franchise a lot of success without the need for over-the-top contracts or foolish gambles.

But is there any reason whatsoever for them to have encountered this situation? Gaborik is shutting himself down for the next three months, despite pleas from team management for him to return in the nearer term. Basically it boils down to this:

Fragile player

Selfishly speaking, Gaborik is making the right move. Another injury to his glass hip could make him a Peter Forsberg. By shelving himself now, he might be adding years to his career. And maybe, just maybe, he'll inexplicably come back later this season as a player who actually wants to help his team win.

But prima donnas don't change their stripes. Gaborik has never shown the tenacity or resolve of a champion, and has spent the past calendar year stringing the Wild organization along through contract disputes and rehab sessions. Now it looks like they won't even be able to get a marginal return when he leaves this summer, as his surgery will keep him out of action until after the trade deadline.

Gaborik should've been unloaded months ago. He doesn't play defense, he's not a team player, he's injured on a regular basis, and he has only one 40-goal season on record. Now he's intentionally choosing to screw the Wild out of any chance at getting compensated for his departure. He's the sum of all the nightmare scenarios that run through a GM's head late at night.

Which leaves us all to wonder: what was Doug Risebrough thinking?

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