Marian Gaborik returned Friday afternoon from Slovakia, where he spoke at a memorial for his close friend Pavol Demitra, and others. It’s been an especially difficult off-season for Gaborik, who was very close with Derek Boogaard from their days in Minnesota, and extremely close with Demitra, who perished in a plane crash two weeks ago.
Gaborik skated in the final group at training camp today and will undergo his physical tests at another time. Below is a Q&A he did today.
On hockey taking his mind away from what he’s been through:
“Yeah, for sure. To get back with the guys, with the group, and get this skating and testing done, and jump right back to scrimmage and preseason games. So hopefully I’m going to recover from jet lag as quickly as I can and be ready.”
“It’s been a crazy off-season, you know? To see Boogey go, and Pavol, and a couple other guys passed as well. So the summer’s been tough. But you have to move on. Obviously I’m never going to forget these guys; always going to have them in my heart, and I just have to move on.”
“I wrote a speech and I spoke at a memorial for the guys who had like 10 closest hockey guys on the stage there during the memorial. So, during this year I’m going to do something (to honor them) for sure. Now I want to focus on training camp and definitely going to do something.”
His health and readiness:
“Yeah, I feel pretty good. I brought my gear so I skated three times with the guys there a little bit to get my mind off things. I flew in yesterday so hopefully I’m going to get my legs back quickly as I can. But I feel good. I’m looking forward to this.
“I skated Saturday, then flew Saturday after the skate here.”
On importance of getting on the ice with Brad Richards:
“Yeah, we skated two or three times together. You can see how he handles himself on the ice. He’s just a natural playmaker. The plays he makes, they’re great. You know you’re going to get it on your tape. I think we’re going to get used to each other pretty quickly.”
On left wingers for that line:
“It’s going to be up to Torts, what he’s going to decide. We’ll see. You know, whoever is there, we have to get used to each other and hopefully we can stick together as much as we can. So if we stick together, it means we’re doing good. You know how it is with the lines here. If we’re going to stick together, then you know that we’re doing good.”