Report: Another star veteran NHLer and Stanley Cup champion forced into early retirement?

First Hossa and Zetterberg and now this… ouch.

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According to a report released yesterday by Ottawa Senators insider Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, veteran NHLer Marian Gaborik’s playing days may be over. 

Acquired by the Sens as part of a trade that saw Dion Phaneuf head to the Los Angeles Kings, Gaborik played just 16 games for his new team in 2017-18 before having surgery on a herniated disc. He has yet to be medically cleared by the team’s staff.

“Gaborik has not been fully cleared health-wise,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told Garrioch on Wednesday. “He’s still in L.A. seeing a back specialist. Once he gets here, we’ll have more information. Right now, I can’t tell you more than that.”

When asked point blank whether or not Gaborik will play in 2018-19, Dorion once again admitted that the team won’t know “until we see him.” He went on to say that there’s no timetable in place for reviewing Gaborik’s condition. In other words: “fat chance.”

If this is indeed the end of the road for the 36 year old Gaborik, it’s been one tremendous career. The former 3rd overall pick of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft was the first player selected in Minnesota Wild history and would go on to establish many early records for the expansion franchise before moving on to play with the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Senators. Gaborik won a Stanley Cup championship in 2014 with the Kings after being acquired from the Blue Jackets at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline. His remarkable 14 goals and 22 points in 26 games during the Kings’ 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff run helped enshrine his legacy forever.

In total Gaborik has managed 407 goals and 815 points in 1035 career games over 18 seasons in the NHL. While he has consistently been one of the best point producers in the NHL over the course of his illustrious career, Gaborik has always had difficulty remaining healthy. He’s played a full 82 game schedule just once in his career and has missed enormous stretches with ongoing hip and groin issues. It appears now that he may be done forever. 

If this is indeed the end, congrats on an excellent career, Marian and all the best in your post playing days!