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Rangers Hockey: Gaborik Out with Concussion, McCabe or Jackman in for Playoff Run?

The NY Rangers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, and will do so without star winger Marian Gaborik.

The NY Rangers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, and will do so without star winger Marian Gaborik. Sitting just two points ahead of the eighth place Hurricanes, the Rangers could certainly do without this setback as they seek to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack.

There is currently no timetable for his return.

In the Rumor Mill, Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe has been linked to the Rangers today. In 46 games, McCabe had amassed 22 points (5g, 17a) with only 2 goals and 5 assists with the man advantage. The Panthers are one of only five teams with a worse powerplay percentage than the Rangers, so I’m not sure he is the answer.

McCabe’s best seasons were back in 2005-6 and 2006-7 when he was a point producing machine from the blueline with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now at thirty-five years of age, he is four years and a slew of injuries removed from that kind of production.

In fact, he has only had two 82 game seasons in the last five, and has already missed thirteen games this year. Still, he has the tools and the frame, 6’2 220 pounds, to be a force and would be given every opportunity to succeed in NY. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season, so the asking price shouldn’t be too high.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman is also rumored to be available, but has yet to be linked to the Rangers. Jackman won Rookie of the Year honors when he entered the league in 2002-3. Known more as a crease-clearing, stay at home defenseman, Jackman could stabilize the Rangers defense with his veteran experience and fearless play.

Henrik Lundqvist has had a lot of bodies crashing into his crease this season, and opposing players would definitely be less enthused about doing that knowing Jackman will be waiting to punch them in the face for it. He has one year remaining on a contract that will pay him $3.625 million next year. I would put in a call here if I were Sather.

Dante Vassallo
dantepv@gmail.com
follow me on Twitter @dpv9

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