What's next for Gaborik, Rangers?

Updated: March 14, 2013, 12:24 PM ET
By Craig Custance

On Wednesday afternoon agent Tobin Wright was making the drive through Minnesota up to Winnipeg to have dinner with some players he represents and then catch the game Thursday night between the Rangers and the Jets.

His timing is good because there will be plenty to talk about with one of his biggest clients. Wright represents Marian Gaborik, and their relationship goes beyond that of business associates. Wright and Gaborik are close friends, a friendship that was formed when Wright worked in the Wild front office and Gaborik was a rookie in the NHL.

So, if anybody knows how Gaborik is feeling right now during this tough stretch of his career, it's Wright.

Coming off a 41-goal season, the second-highest total of his career, Gaborik's pace has slowed this season. He has eight goals in 25 games but five of those came in January. In New York, these droughts get noticed.

Andrew Gross, the Rangers beat writer for the Record (N.J.), writes today that Gaborik is a poor fit in New York and that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of his time with the Rangers. Gross points out a demotion to the third line against Buffalo that was just the latest in the usual John Tortorella line shuffling. The message in this case was hardly subtle.

"He's the coach and makes decisions," Gaborik told Gross. "The lines tend to change all the time. So we have to be better. The guys that have to step up, have to step up. It's got to be night in and night out."

Tortorella made it clear that he wasn't happy with the performance of his top players, saying on Tuesday that he couldn't be more disgusted and disappointed with how his top guys played. Katie Strang captured that frustration quite well in this blog post.

So yeah, it's not pretty right now with the Rangers and Gaborik. But what comes next?