• Frolov Already Loving New York
, who scored 42 goals and 86 points in a remarkable first year with the Rangers last season, is spending his summer in his native Slovakia. We spoke with Gaborik on Monday to get his thoughts on some of the new faces that have joined the Blueshirts for 2010-11.
|Rangers scoring leader Marian Gaborik is looking forward to being joined by the players added to the Blueshirts during the off-season, including a pair of players who were his teammates back in Minnesota. |
Gaborik said he is looking forward to meeting Mats Zuccarello
Aasen, who impressed him during the Olympics, when Gaborik was skating for Slovakia and Zuccarello Aasen was with Norway. Zuccarello Aasen's best game of the tournament might have been his nation's near upset of the Slovaks. He had a goal and assist in that game, while leading all forwards with 24:53 of icetime.
"He played well in the Olympics, and from what I've heard, he's been one of the top players in the Swedish league," Gaborik said of Zuccarello Aasen.
Another newcomer is Alexander Frolov, a winger who spent seven seasons in Los Angeles before joining the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent. Gaborik said he is looking forward to having Frolov on the team and has a very good sense of what he'll bring to the Rangers.
"He's very strong on the puck, in the corners and in one-on-one situations," Gaborik said of Frolov. "He has a great drive to the net with the puck. He's going to be good."
Two other new Rangers were Gaborik's teammates in Minnesota. Todd White, traded to the Blueshirts on Monday, was occasionally on a line with Gaborik during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
"He can play both very well defensively and offensively," Gaborik said of White. "He's put up a lot of points every year while playing mostly on a second line. I think he's going to be a good fit for us because he's a good skater and he's strong."
Perhaps the player Gaborik most eagerly anticipates seeing in a Rangers uniform is his longtime Wild teammate and friend Derek Boogaard, one of the league's most feared enforcers ever since he joined Gaborik's Minnesota team in 2005.
"I think he's the best in the league at what he does. He intimidates people and when he gets going, I don't think there's anybody that wants to get hit by him," Gaborik said of Boogaard. "And hockeywise, from what I've heard, compared to the first couple of years I knew him, his game has improved."
Gaborik said Boogaard opened up the ice for Minnesota's scorers by putting fear into his opponents.
"I don't think anybody wants to mess around with him. He's the best at what he does," Gaborik said. "He was a help not just for me, but for everybody else on the team. I think Rangers fans will love him, and I think he's going to bring a lot. People, especially defensemen, won't want to play against him. When he gets going and he hits somebody, it's scary."