Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Question for the Sherpa I

I thought it was pretty interesting to read in my search keywords that landed someone to this site was 'if you had marian gaborik in your hockey pool would you trade him?' This does pose an interesting question, as the oft-injured, yet high-scoring forward Marian Gaborik has run into some injury problems this year and is in the middle of many trade rumours and new contract speculation.

This season, Gaborik has only played in two games for the Wild, registering only a goal. The Wild have gone on to play well without their star forward, as new stars like Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen have emerged to pick up the slack in Minnesota. Gaborik is also in the final year of his contract, which does carry a cap hit of $6.333 million. As Gaborik sits with his "lower body" injury, which we are only to assume it is his problematic groin, it's understandable to ask yourself, 'do I keep him or do I move him?'

The question itself does have a few a factors to consider... 1) are you able to drop him completely in your pool? 2) do you have a trade in place with another team in your pool? 3) is your pool salary cap based? 4) is he worth keeping on your roster in a keeper pool?

wildNow, I don't think you would want to immediately want to drop Gaborik from your team altogether if you're not going to receive any compensation for him. It's a gamble that's hard to take, since his injury is only keeping him out on a day-to-day basis. You could speculate a lot at this point about what the injury is and whether or he'll be traded while he is injured or not. I would like to think that if he does come back, sooner rather than later, he'll want to come back with some vigor, enough to make teams interested in him for a move. This is a contract year for this European player and we all know that the Euros like to play well in their contract years.

If you received a trade offer for Gaborik in your pool, I would seriously consider it. You have to take into consideration what you are getting in return for Gaborik and I wouldn't sell the farm on him quite yet. He does have pool value, with a fair amount of risk as well. Personally, I don't like to carry too much risk in my pool players, despite high rewards, just for matters like this. A big question mark looming over the head of Gaborik would lead me to believe a trade would be beneficial for the remainder of the year, as you may get someone who is more capable of playing more games in the year.

Value for salary cap hit could be considered another story, however. Does a player like Gaborik deserve to be on your team with a cap value that is in the top third in the league? No. I'm sure that you could find better value for money than Gaborik. He is definitely capable of 40-50 goals, if he plays all 82 games in the season, but we all know that it isn't going to happen this year and an unknown contract status seems to be hurting his desire to play as well. However, if Gaborik is to move to another team that would pass him through their physical with flying colours, I would immediate turn tail and pick him up. There are some teams rumoured to be interested in him that I would definitely give him full marks for playing on.

On a keeper league team, you should have the ability to keep Gaborik benched, while you use one of your other key players in a scoring spot that he would normally take. For the last reason of moving teams this year, I wouldn't dump Gaborik at all. Sure, he isn't very good to you now, but if you're in a keeper pool, I would try and move him myself, trying to make a move to a stronger team for equal value of a healthy Gaborik. Like I said, he has value, which wouldn't be discounted if he went to another team that gave him a clean bill of health. It's anyone's guess where he'll end up, but if I'm falling behind this season in the keeper pool, I would see what kind of value I could get for him, while I wait for his return.

There really is no sense re-iterating what I had posted as a conclusion. I like Gaborik, he's done wonderful things for me in fantasy teams in the past. I was kind of disappointed I didn't pick him on my draft team, but now I don't feel quite so bad, as my Draft only has two waiver periods (Week Nine and Week Eighteen), where we can drop and pick up players. If we could do it at any time, I may have likely dropped him for someone who wasn't taken (ahem, Mike Modano) at all.

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