Marián Gáborík

Last updated

Marián Gáborík
Marian Gaborik.JPG
Gaborik with the Minnesota Wild in 2009
Born (1982-02-14) 14 February 1982 (age 38)
Trenčín, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)
Position Left wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Ottawa Senators
Dukla Trenčín
Minnesota Wild
Färjestad BK
New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Los Angeles Kings
National teamFlag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
NHL Draft 3rd overall, 2000
Minnesota Wild
Playing career 1998present

Marián Gáborík (Slovak pronunciation:  [ˈmaɾijaːn ˈɡaːbɔɾiːk] ; born 14 February 1982) is a Slovak professional ice hockey right winger currently under contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He began his playing career in the Slovak Extraliga with Dukla Trenčín for two seasons before being drafted third overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, becoming the highest drafted Slovak player in NHL history. Spending eight seasons with the Wild before signing with the New York Rangers in 2009, Gáborík is the Wild's all-time leading scorer in goals. He has also played for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings. On 13 June 2014, Gáborík won his first Stanley Cup while playing for the Kings.


Internationally, Gáborík is a two-time Olympian with Slovakia and has won a bronze medal at the 1999 World Junior Championships.

Playing career

Dukla Trenčín

Gáborík played with Dukla Trenčín's junior team and scored 59 points over 36 games in 1997–98. That same season, he appeared in one Slovak Extraliga game with Dukla Trenčín's men's team, scoring a goal in his professional debut. The following season, in 1998–99, he joined Dukla Trenčín in the Slovak Extraliga full-time and registered 20 points over 33 games as a rookie. Gáborík then improved to 46 points in 50 games the following season in his draft year.

Minnesota Wild

Gaborik saluting the crowd following his five-goal game against the Rangers in 2007. December 20, 2007 Gaborik detail.jpg
Gáborík saluting the crowd following his five-goal game against the Rangers in 2007.

Gáborík was drafted by the Minnesota Wild with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft after Rick DiPietro and Dany Heatley. Gáborík immediately showed promise during his rookie season with the Wild, collecting 18 goals and 36 points for the expansion Wild. He elevated his game the following season, in 2001–02, notching his first 30-goal season and nearly doubling his rookie output to 67 points. He also recorded his first career NHL hat-trick near the beginning of the season on 13 November 2001. In 2002–03, Gáborík was named to his first NHL All-Star Game and won the fastest skater competition, lapping the rink in 13.713 seconds. [1] He notched 30 goals for the second consecutive season, but more importantly helped lead the Wild to their first Stanley Cup playoffs appearance. He capped off his third NHL season with 17 points in 18 games as part of a run to the Western Conference Finals.

Contractual issues kept Gáborík from starting the 2003–04 season with the Wild, as his initial entry-level contract came to an end in the off-season. Holding out with Dukla Trenčín, his agent, Allan Walsh, asserted that Gáborík would not take less than $6.5 million a year. [2] After switching agents three times, Gáborík eventually agreed to a three-year, $10 million contract with the Wild on 31 October 2003. [3] Limited to 65 games that season, he recorded 18 goals and 40 points. Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Gáborík again returned to Dukla Trenčín, where he dominated with 52 points in 29 games. He also saw time with Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elitserien.

As NHL play resumed in 2005–06, Gáborík took another step forward, becoming a point-per-game player with 38 goals and 66 points in a 65-game season limited by a groin injury. His season was shortened once more the following season in 2006–07, re-injuring his groin on 20 October 2006, against the Anaheim Ducks. Despite a 10- to 14-day estimated recovery time, [4] he did not return to the lineup until 6 January 2007, against the Colorado Avalanche two-and-a-half months later. Although Gáborík missed 34 games, he still managed a second consecutive 30-goal season to go with 57 points overall.

On 20 December 2007, Gáborík recorded a six-point game against the New York Rangers with five goals and an assist. This made him the first player in Wild history to score five goals in a game, as well as the first NHLer since Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings did so, 11 years earlier (on 26 December 1996, against the Washington Capitals). [5] At mid-season, he was chosen to his second NHL All-Star Game and would go on to record personal bests of 42 goals, 41 assists and 83 points. Gáborík finished his career year as team captain for the Wild in March 2008. It was the first time in his career he was chosen as part of the team's monthly rotating captaincy. [6] Entering the final year of his contract with the Wild in 2008–09, the Wild began negotiations early to re-sign Gáborík. A ten-year, $80 million deal was turned down by Gáborík, and the Wild consequently began entertaining trade offers from NHL teams. [7] His playing time with the Wild was limited in his final year after being sidelined early in the season with a lower-body injury [7] before undergoing hip surgery in January 2009. [8] He returned to the lineup on 21 March 2009, against the Edmonton Oilers [9] and finished the season with 23 points in 17 games.

Gáborík was unable to sign a new contract with the Wild in the 2009 off-season. He left the Wild after eight seasons as its last original player and as the club's all-time leader in goals, assists and points. [10]

New York Rangers

Gaborik while with the New York Rangers in 2011. Blues vs. Rangers-8785 (6543577747) (cropped).jpg
Gáborík while with the New York Rangers in 2011.

Leading up to the free agency period, Gáborík was speculated to have interest in signing with the Vancouver Canucks after The Province reported he had recently bought a home in West Vancouver in the 2009 off-season. [11] Nevertheless, Gáborík signed as an unrestricted free agent with the New York Rangers on the first day of free agency on 1 July 2009. The Rangers signed him to a reported $37.5 million contract over five years. [12]

Gáborík got off to a quick start with his new club, scoring 10 goals in his first 12 games. [13] Nearly a month into the season, he suffered a knee injury after colliding with former Ranger Petr Průcha in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes on 26 October 2009. [13] He missed two games, including what would have been his first game back in Minnesota against the Wild. Gáborík was injured for a second time in the season when his right leg was cut by team goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during a team practice on 9 February 2010. [14] Though the Rangers missed the 2010 playoffs, Gáborík did not disappoint in his first season with the team; he played in 76 games, matching his career high with 42 goals, and set a new career high in points with 86.

Gáborík's second season with the Rangers, in 2010–11, was hampered by injury. Just three games into the season, he suffered a shoulder injury after receiving an illegal boarding hit in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The injury caused him to miss nearly a month, and, upon his return, limited his playing style, which relies on his tremendous wrist shot. Perhaps due to lingering effects from his various ailments, Gáborík proved a streaky scorer throughout the season and finished with 22 goals and 26 assists in 62 games, though 12 of those goals came in four games. His best game of the season was on 19 January 2011, when Gáborík scored four goals and an assist in a 7–0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the first time since Gáborík had joined the team, the Rangers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 5–2 win over the rival New Jersey Devils in the final game of the season. Gáborík contributed an assist on the game-winning goal, and a plus-minus rating of +2 during the game.

On 29 January 2012, Gáborík was named the MVP of the 59th NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa. [15]

On 3 May 2012, shortly after midnight, Gáborík scored a triple-overtime game winner against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, ending one of the longest playoff games in Rangers history.

On the commencement of the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, Gáborík, who remained idle during the labour dispute, struggled to recapture his previous scoring pace with New York, often overshadowed by the addition of Rick Nash to the Rangers. [16]

Columbus Blue Jackets

After scoring nine goals in 35 games, Gáborík was dealt at the trade deadline on 3 April 2013, along with minor league players Blake Parlett and Steven Delisle, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a sixth-round draft pick. [17] The following night, Gáborík made his debut with the Blue Jackets and immediately made an impact, scoring the game-winning goal and earning an assist in a victory over the Nashville Predators. [18] Gáborík then scored for Columbus in their opening game of the 2013–14 season, a 4–3 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Los Angeles Kings

Gáborík was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on 5 March 2014, in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, a second-round draft pick and a conditional third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. [19] The Kings' acquisition of Gáborík paid dividends in the 2014 playoffs, as he went on to lead the playoffs with 14 goals and contributed to the Kings' effort in capturing their second Stanley Cup in three years, prevailing over his former club, the New York Rangers.

On 25 June 2014, Gáborík, as a pending free agent, opted to remain with the Kings in signing a seven-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.875 million per year. [20]

On 15 December 2017, Gáborík played his 1,000th career NHL game. [21] [22] [23] Gáborík recorded two points in a 4–2 to the Rangers. [24]

Ottawa Senators

On 13 February 2018, Gáborík and Nick Shore were traded to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson. [25]

Gáborík underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on 5 April 2018. [26] The Ottawa Senators placed Gáborík on long-term injured reserve to start the 2018–19 season. Gáborik would eventually miss the 2018–19 season entirely.


Gáborík has used his success to benefit Slovak ice hockey and player development. In 2005, he opened his ice rink Arena Mariána Gáboríka in his native city of Trenčín at a personal cost of approximately 50 million Slovak koruna. [27] The ice rink provides the opportunity to both learn how to skate as well as play ice hockey for local youth, and also contains both a full fitness center for off-ice conditioning and accommodations so that participants in programs may stay overnight. The rink earned the distinction of 2005 Construction of the Year in Trenčín. [28] Beginning in 2009, Gáborík's ice rink has also begun offering a hockey school program. [29]

Of the rink, Gáborík says: [28]

Gáborík spends a lot of personal time pursuing this endeavor during the off-season, as he personally attends each of his hockey school's summer camp sessions to meet the campers and pose for photographs. [30]

Gáborík has also founded the Marian Gaborik Foundation, which also supports his mission of expanding access to youth hockey in Slovakia. [31]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Bold indicates led league

   Regular season   Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
1997–98 Dukla Trenčín Slovak-Jr.3637225928
1997–98 Dukla Trenčín Slovak 11010
1998–99 Dukla TrenčínSlovak3311920631012
1999–00 Dukla TrenčínSlovak502521463451232
2000–01 Minnesota Wild NHL 7118183632
2001–02 Minnesota WildNHL7830376734
2002–03 Minnesota WildNHL81303565461898176
2003–04 Dukla TrenčínSlovak91031310
2003–04 Minnesota WildNHL6518224016
2004–05 Dukla TrenčínSlovak292527524612891726
2004–05 Färjestad BK SEL 12641045
2005–06 Minnesota WildNHL6538286664
2006–07 Minnesota WildNHL483027574053148
2007–08 Minnesota WildNHL774241836360114
2008–09 Minnesota WildNHL171310232
2009–10 New York Rangers NHL7642448637
2010–11 New York RangersNHL622226481851122
2011–12 New York RangersNHL82413576342056112
2012–13 New York RangersNHL35910198
2012–13 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL123586
2013–14 Columbus Blue JacketsNHL2268146
2013–14 Los Angeles Kings NHL1951116426148226
2014–15 Los Angeles KingsNHL6927204716
2015–16 Los Angeles KingsNHL541210222040112
2016–17 Los Angeles KingsNHL5610112118
2017–18 Los Angeles KingsNHL30771418
2017–18 Ottawa Senators NHL164376
NHL totals10354074088154928432265830
Marián Gáborík
Gáborík during the 2010 Winter Olympics
Medal record
Representing Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
Men's ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1999 Canada
World U18 Championships
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1999 Germany


YearTeamEventResult GPGAPtsPIM
1998 Slovakia EJC18 6th62130
1999 Slovakia WJC Bronze medal icon.svg63032
1999 Slovakia WJC18 Bronze medal icon.svg738112
2000 SlovakiaWJC9th73140
2000 SlovakiaWJC185th662812
2001 Slovakia WC 7th72130
2004 SlovakiaWC4th94264
2004 Slovakia WCH 7th41012
2005 SlovakiaWC5th73146
2006 Slovakia Oly 5th63474
2007 SlovakiaWC6th6561114
2010 SlovakiaOly4th74156
2011 SlovakiaWC10th62130
2015 SlovakiaWC9th74268
2016 Team Europe WCH Silver medal icon.svg42022
Junior totals3217122916
Senior totals6330184846

Awards and honors

All-Star Game 2003, 2008, 2012
All-Star Game MVP2012
Second All-Star Team 2012
Stanley Cup (Los Angeles Kings) 2014

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Preceded by
Team founded
Minnesota Wild first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Mikko Koivu
Preceded by
Mikko Koivu
Minnesota Wild captain
March–April 2008
Succeeded by
Mikko Koivu