Bruins Trade Targets: Marian Gaborik Likely to Stay in LA


May 14, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Marian Gaborik (12) and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy (6) reach for the puck in the first period in game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Marian Gaborik Out of Bruins’ Range

With Jarome Iginla on the fence about staying in Boston due to the B’s financial workings, Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik has surfaced as a conceivable trade option for the Bruins.

Gaborik came to the Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5 prior to the trade deadline.

A lethal goalscorer brandishing a top-tier wrist shot, the 32-year-old also demonstrates excellent speed, elusiveness and stick skills. He’s the type of player, a speedster essentially, that the Bruins need. His acquisition may actually play out better than Iginla’s signing down the road, accounting for Gaborik’s great playoff series in comparison to a mediocre spell by Iginla.

It’s easy to like future Hall-of-Famer’s time in Boston, though, based on his great regular season stats; he topped the team in goals, tied for 30 scores with reliable alternate captain Patrice Bergeron. The Minnesota Wild’s NHL Draft pick in 2000 would improve the Bruins, nonetheless.

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The Kings, unfortunately, look well on their way to a Stanley Cup birth after taking a 3-1 series advantage over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, and Gaborik’s contribution (leading the team with 10 postseason goals, third on the team in points) has helped propel LA to such standing.

Don’t be surprised to see the Kings want Marian Gaborik back. As is customary in professional sports, monetary assets often turn into teams’ No.1 priority.

According to Cap Geek, the Bruins will have a heaping dose of $6 million, Iginla’s significant performance bonuses, count against the salary cap next season. Peter Chiarelli has over $9 million in cap space, so with a guy like Gaborik, earning a straight salary of $7.5 million right now, it could be tricky to negotiate an incentive-laden contract, even if the Bruins were ready to inflict the majority of his money against 2015/16’s cap.

The Kings have roughly $13 million in bank and no unrestricted free agents that will deduct greater than $3.5 million. Thus, from a business standpoint, keeping Marian Gaborik should appear more logical to LA’s front office than Boston’s. And his addition may prove difficult to overcome for the Bruins, unless they find a creative way to stretch his earnings to next year.

When push comes to shove, Iginla’s return isn’t a bad call. Gaborik’s not necessarily the final answer. But one thing is certain: The Bruins will necessitate finesse, dynamic skaters to grab Lord Stanley’s hardware in 2015.