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10-05-2008, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Country: Canada
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If Risebrough trades Gaborik, it would be logical to assume it would be to an Eastern Conference team, although it's believed Vancouver and Los Angeles have strong interest.

Usually when trades of this magnitude are made, general managers feel most comfortable dealing with their closest friends.

Risebrough's circle of good friends includes Montreal's Bob Gainey, the New York Rangers' Glen Sather and Toronto's Cliff Fletcher.

Montreal makes sense. The Canadiens have lots of salary-cap room and lots of up-and-coming players and prospects. It would be difficult for the Rangers to take on a contract like Gaborik's without giving up Scott Gomez's $7.4 million-a-year contract.

Pittsburgh is another interesting suitor. After all, last season when the Penguins thought they had a legitimate chance at the Stanley Cup, they acquired Hossa from Atlanta.

Risebrough is keeping everything close to the vest. Would he continue negotiating into the season? He wouldn't say. But Gaborik's history of injuries makes waiting risky. The Wild could conceivably get nothing if he's hurt.

"You're talking about a step that I'm not necessarily at yet -- moving him," Risebrough said. "I'm probably more worried about his injuries and how it relates to his being able to perform than I am worrying about whether it affects his trade value."

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