Here’s a look at what Gaborik will bring to Los Angeles as a member of the Kings:The Kings were aggressive in looking to improve their offense, reportedly making a run at Thomas Vanek, who proved to be too costly of an acquisition. When healthy Gaborik is a dynamic offensive player with tremendous speed and skill, an element the Kings simply don’t have. The former Wild and Rangers star could be the missing element that gives the Kings enough offense to compete with the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks who the Kings face on April 12th the final game of the 2013-2014 NHL regular season.. The presence of Gaborik, combined with the Kings elite defensive unit and goaltender Jonathan Quick, could make the Kings a very difficult team to beat come playoff time. The Kings are expected to team Gaborik up with Anze Kopitar, potentially creating an elite combination that will benefit both players. The Kings are banking on recapturing the momentum they had back in 2012 when they acquired Jeff Carter from the same Columbus Blue Jackets. Los Angeles traded for Carter and then went on a hot streak that eventually culminated in the organizations first Stanley Cup Championship. With the Kings in the midst of a five-game winning streak the addition of Gaborik could very well vault Los Angeles up the Western Conference standings.
One potential issue with Gaborik is his ability to stay healthy. During his tenure with the Minnesota Wild Gaborik was often injured, a tendency that didn’t carry over to his time in New York but popped up once again this season in Columbus. He missed six weeks early in the season with a knee strain and then suffered a broken collarbone, two injuries that have left him largely ineffective this season. Gaborik returned on February 27th versus the New Jersey Devils and scored in his first goal.In addition to Gaborik the Kings also traded for young Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brayden McNabb. The Kings sent prospects Hudson Fasching and Nicholas Deslaurier to Buffalo for McNabb and Jonathon Parker. McNabb is a big, 6’4”, defenseman who will boost the Kings already formidable defensive depth. The move to trade Fasching, who’s had a tremendous season this year for the Minnesota Gophers, will be interesting to watch over the next several years. After a difficult draft season that saw him fall out of the first round to a fourth round pick, Fasching has improved his stock once again and was arguably the best player for the United States in the recent World Juniors.
You can see the newest member of the LA Kings when they return to the Staples Center on March 13th to face the Toronto Maple Leafs which is also Jim Fox Bobblehead night. LA Kings Tickets for Bobblehead night start out at $55 per ticket and go up to $175 for center ice seats.