The Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world on a couple of different occasions in the 2013 season. Aside from their ability to remain in contention for as long as they did, they also made what was perhaps the most surprising move of the trade deadline back in April.
Columbus acquired Marian Gaborik, giving the team the star power that it lacked when they traded Rick Nash to the New York Rangers during the previous summer. The move worked out well for the Jackets, as Gaborik was able to make a difference on offense almost immediately.
Gaborik posted a respectable eight points in a dozen games with the Jackets during the 2013 season. He was able to rebound after a poor start to the year when he was still in New York. That includes a couple of points, including a goal in his debut, and five points in his first seven games overall.
This Blue Jackets team overall isn’t exactly an offensive power. Given some of their up and coming defensemen, and the man between the pipes, they won’t have a problem keeping the puck out of the net. But Gaborik will represent one of their only sources of consistent offense, unless they go out and add an impact forward or two.
Gaborik’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season, meaning that he’ll be eligible for an extension this summer. Will the Blue Jackets try and lock him up long term this summer? It’s something that would definitely make some sense, as he’s not only a veteran presence, but still capable of producing some very solid offensive numbers.
It’d be surprising for the Jackets to not at least explore what the outline of such a deal might look like for Gaborik. He’s only been in Columbus for a short time, but with an improving team that could be playoff bound soon, he may be inclined to put down some roots and remain with the organization as his career begins to wind down.