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Gaborik makes anticlimatic return to Minnesota @NHLdotcom

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -Marian Gaborik is back in Minnesota, but only as a spectator.

In his first season with the New York Rangers, Gaborik has 10 goals and eight assists in 12 games. The former franchise player for the Wild is fourth in the NHL with 18 points.

Gaborik will not face his old team, though. He hurt his leg on Monday in a collision with a Phoenix player, missed the Rangers' next game and has been ruled out of Friday's matchup with Minnesota. This is the only time the Rangers and Wild play this season.

Gaborik says he doesn't want to risk further injury.

"It would be nice to play, but I don't want to put myself into position of it getting worse," Gaborik told reporters after the Rangers arrived Thursday evening.

He said he is enjoying the experience of a new style and a new team.

"It's very exciting. So far things are good. I like the team, the guys, the organization," said Gaborik, who signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Rangers this summer. "Everything's been super so far."

He was asked if the Rangers are a better fit for his skills.

"I really like our system. We're a fast team. We're skating a lot," Gaborik said. "I think the Eastern Conference is a little different. It's not as much tight hockey, especially throughout the neutral zone."

Wild fans grew frustrated with Gaborik's inability to stay healthy in recent seasons, and he was occasionally booed at Xcel Energy Center in his last year. Though the time to move on had come for both sides, the Wild are missing Gaborik's scoring ability. They took a 3-9 record and only 26 goals into Friday's game against the Rangers.

The Rangers recalled forward Dane Byers from Hartford of the AHL on Friday.

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