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November 14, 2013 | 9:31am ET
Blue Jackets won't open talks with Gaborik
TheFourthPeriod.com

Until Marian Gaborik reestablishes his game and starts producing against for the Blue Jackets, the team won't initiate talks on a contract extension.

Gaborik, 31, is in the final year of a five-year, $37.5 million contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said earlier this month he won't start contract talks until he sees more leadership from the thre-time 40-goal scorer.

In 16 games with the Blue Jackets so far this season, Gaborik has registered five goals and six assists for 11 points.

The Blue Jackets expected more production from their star forward to start the 2013-14 campaign, and are still holding out hope he comes around.

"I think he's trying to find that out about himself, too," Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards told the Dispatch. "He's one guy we have to get more game out of, and I'm not just talking offensively. There's more to him and his game, and we need to find it."

If Gaborik doesn't get going and the team continues to struggle -- the Blue Jackets are currently last in the Metropolitan Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference -- Dispatch beat reporter Aaron Portzline suggested, via Twitter, that the team could look to move him closer to the trade deadline.

"The last couple of games, I've tried to shoot more," Gaborik said. "I've tried not to pass up any shots. Before, my first thought was to pass it, make a play with it. I have to work hard for it, work hard in all areas. I'm not going to squeeze the stick harder; I'm just going to play it natural. When they come, hopefully they'll come in bunches. That's how it's always been in the past."


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