Marian Gaborik suffers broken collarbone in return to action

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If you were to make a time capsule for Marian Gaborik’s career, Dec. 21, 2013 might just be it. In his return from an injury that claimed 17 games, Gaborik collected an assist on Saturday … and then suffered a broken collarbone. He’ll be out indefinitely.

The injury came thanks to a hit by Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Zac Rinaldo. Here’s video of the play:

The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost three game in a row and were likely just starting to look on the bright side, as Gaborik returned tonight and Nathan Horton was showing signs of actually playing for his new team. Now the offensively average (at best?) team must go without their 31-year-old catalyst for an unclear – but likely lengthy – amount of time.

It’s a big loss for Columbus and also for Slovakia, a mid-level Olympic team that could surely use his sniping.

Gaborik could stand to lose a lot of money, too, as he’s in a contract year that’s been borderline disastrous. It’s reasonable to ask if he’s seen his last bit of action in Columbus thanks to this awful bit of luck.

Update: At least Blue Jackets fans can take solace in a win: they topped the Flyers 6-3 tonight.