It's probably fitting that Marion Gaborik was born on February 14th.
Like St. Valentine's Day, he is a player that many love, but many others only love to hate him. Talented but fragile, Gaborik is a frustrating fantasy player, but as a collective, we poolies can't ever seem to breakup with him permanently – even if the relationship is obviously unhealthy.
Gaborik was recently described as Martin Havlat "multiplied by a 100, or maybe a 1000" in The Hockey News (THN) Yearbook. Considering that the almost equally delicate Havlat led the Chicago Blackhawks in scoring last year with 77 points (ahead of super-talented sophomores Patrick Kane, and Jonathon Toews), this kind of endorsement from a hockey bedrock source like THN is understandably tempting to many.
Further, in THN's most recent issue, Gaborik was listed as the third most important "summer acquisition" in a reader's choice survey, ahead of Michael Cammlleri and Nikolai Khabibulin. Maybe we could write off the readers as either ill-educated (or drunk), but two pages later Gaborik is highlighted as the "comeback player" of the year by an expert team of "hockey observers" that included team correspondents, THN staff, and other hockey journalists.
All that said, as savvy poolies, we know that general hockey commentary doesn't always accurately translate into the stat-heavy world of fantasy hockey. Many great hockey players are not good fantasy choices simply because their contributions are intangible, immeasurable, and therefore useless in your pool.
But Gaborik has received much love in purely fantasy circles too. In the Yahoo system, he currently is being drafted in the second round, 20.7th overall on average (shockingly ahead of Roberto Luongo and Vincent Lecavalier). In Dobber's Expert League more restraint was demonstrated, but barely. He was drafted in the 4th round, 45th overall (to learn more about who the experts drafted and when, pick up the Guide). The two-time all-star's potential clearly wins out over his injury risks in many people's minds.
Should you be tempted this year?
Information is power, so let's get educated on the skating Slovak.
He owns some impressive numbers, and he owns some scary numbers. What can we expect