‹ 5 NHL Players Whose Injuries Could Have Defined Their Careers

3. Marian Gaborik, Columbus Blue Jackets, 2013/2014 Salary: $7.5 Million

As the third overall draft pick in the 2000 entry draft with Minnesota, Marian Gaborik started out with consistent seasons of over 70 games, scoring 74 points (nearly a point per game) in just his second NHL season for the Wild. Contract issues, followed by the NHL lockout in 04-05, stunted Gaborik’s progress as a player for a few seasons, but as play resumed after the lockout, it looked to be business as usual for the promising winger. Out of the next four seasons, however, Gaborik only played over 60 games twice.  Incredibly, in each of these seasons, and his first one with the New York Rangers, he averaged over a point per game with his highest totals being 83 points in 77 games for the Wild and 86 points in 76 games for the Rangers. Injury troubles, however, have threatened Gaborik’s otherwise amazing statistics throughout his time in the NHL. After several knee and leg injuries combined with some illegal hits into the board, his game totals for each season began to drop and in the 08-09 season he played just 17 games. Gaborik has already placed himself in hockey’s history books for a number of different feats.  He is the Wild’s all time leader in goals, assists, and points. He also earned himself the title of MVP in the 2012 NHL All-Star game.

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