The Columbus Blue Jackets gave up a fair bit to get Marian Gaborik. Soon they’ll have to decide how badly they want to keep him.
Gaborik, 31, is a pending unrestricted free agent. So it’s fair to say general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will want to know where the two sides stand prior to the March 5 trade deadline.
At this point in time, Kekalainen doesn’t sound 100-percent convinced that Gaborik can be what the club wants him to be, which is the “driving force of the team.”
“I think he’s done a lot of good things,” Kekalainen said, per The Columbus Dispatch. “And I think he could do more.”
Kekalainen added: “He’s at the point in his career where he could take the next step in that area. He’s proven he can score points, score goals. I want to believe that even a 30-year-old or a 35-year-old player can get better, and that’s one area that I want to see more from him.”
With 10 points in 10 games, Gaborik is the Jackets’ leading scorer; however, it’s worth noting that his average ice time is just 17:07, which isn’t exactly a “driving force” amount.