In case you didn't think things could get any worse after the way the Rangers saw their season end just over a week ago, think again.
The Rangers announced on Friday that Marian Gaborik will be undergoing surgery this week to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which Gaborik believes he suffered in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators during a collision along the boards behind the net. Gaborik is expected to miss five to six months; five months being an absolute best case scenario. That means the Rangers will be without their leading goal-scorer until November or December, and that's assuming Gaborik doesn't suffer any setbacks in his recovery.
Obviously, this is huge news, and very disappointing for a team that already has enough trouble scoring goals as it is. I guess the one good part from all of this (if you can really call it that) is that he's having surgery in June, so Glen Sather still has a long time to make some moves and do what he has to do to bring in another scorer. I'm sure the news on Gaborik will only increase speculation that the Rangers may go hard after Zach Parise in free agency or revisit talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Rick Nash, but it's really way too early to assume any of that. All I know is that this team needed offensive help before this news broke, and this only intensifies the need to bring in another goal-scorer.
Gaborik told reporters in a conference call that he never considered sitting out in the playoffs and tried not to think about the injury while he was playing through it.
Here's part of what Gaborik told the press:
"There was no point (in getting surgery during the playoffs). I tried to put it aside and focus on playing because you don't get these situations where you're playing for The Cup (often). I just wanted to go out there and go for it."
For all the flack Gaborik took in the postseason from fans and the media (myself included), you really have to appreciate the heart the guy showed to play through this injury and not use it as an excuse for his inconsistent play. Gaborik never let on that he was injured and never even missed practice throughout the playoffs from what I can recall. He also told the media the injury had nothing to do with his benching in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils, when he played just three minutes in the third period.
You can read the Rangers' press release on Gaborik's injury here, and more on what Gaborik had to tell the media about his injury here.
Also, in some minor news, the Rangers announced that they have signed center Oscar Lindberg out of the Swedish Elite League (SEL). Lindberg, 20, was acquired last May from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Ethan Werek, but really doesn't project to be anything special. He recorded just five goals and five assists in 46 games playing in the SEL with 18 penalty minutes this past season and is really nothing more than Hartford depth at this point.