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Gaborik retires from NHL, scored first goal in Wild history

Forward played 17 seasons, won Stanley Cup with Kings in 2014 @NHLdotcom

Marian Gaborik announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday after 17 seasons.

"Officially, 'This is it'," Gaborik said in a statement on Twitter. "It's been a great honor and privilege to play in the best league in the world since I was 18 years old. The journey has been nothing short from spectacular, amazing and unbelievable. Many times, it's been a roller coaster, but I always found the way back. Saying that, I'm so grateful and thankful to my family, my agent, teammates and coaches."

The 39-year-old was selected by the Minnesota Wild with the No. 3 pick in the 2000 NHL Draft, becoming the Wild's first draft choice and the highest Slovakia-born player chosen in League history. He scored the first goal in Minnesota history, against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, on Oct. 6, 2000. 

The forward scored 815 points (407 goals, 408 assists) in 1,035 regular-season games with the Wild, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators, and 58 points (32 goals, 26 assists) in 84 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He scored an NHL career-high 42 goals and NHL career-best 86 points with the Rangers in 2009-10. 

He scored 22 points (14 goals, eight assists) in 26 playoff games to help the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2014. 

Gaborik, who was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade with the Senators on Dec. 27, 2020 but never played for Tampa Bay, last played during the 2017-18 season with the Kings and Senators. He scored 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 30 games that season with the Kings, who traded him to Ottawa on Feb. 13, 2018. He then scored seven points (four goals, three assists) in 16 games with the Senators. 

Gaborik scored 437 points (219 goals, 218 assists) in 502 games with the Wild, 120 points (61 goals, 59 assists) in 228 games with the Kings, 229 points (114 goals, 115 assists) in 255 games with the Rangers and 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 34 games with the Blue Jackets.

He played in three NHL all-star games (2003, 2008, 2012) and was named the 2012 All-Star Game most valuable player after scoring four points (three goals, one assist) at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. 

Gaborik represented Slovakia in many international events, including the 2006 Torino Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and the IIHF World Championship six times. He scored three goals to help Slovakia to a third-place finish at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship and also represented second-place Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

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