Slovakia may be without one of its best players in Sochi.
Marian Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, told the Columbus Dispatch on Monday his client was a “long shot” to play at the Winter Olympics due to a broken collarbone, one that’s sidelined Gaborik since mid-December.
The 31-year-old was a key performer during Slovakia’s surprising fourth-place finish at the ’10 Winter Games in Vancouver. Gaborik led the team with four goals in seven games and averaged over 17 minutes a night.
If he’s unable to go, Slovakia will have an extremely difficult time replacing his offense and overall pedigree. The country doesn’t have a wealth of NHL talent to choose from — all 13 active Slovaks in the league made the Olympic team, which includes Chicago sniper Marian Hossa and Boston captain Zdeno Chara.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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