Marian Gaborik was born February 14, 1982 in Trencin, Slovakia. Selected in the first round, third overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Gaborik is a highly skilled player with explosive speed who competed in the Slovakia Senior League before coming to North America in 2000-01.
A two-time member of Slovakia's World Junior team (1999-2000), Gaborik became the first draft pick in Minnesota Wild history and went on to lead the team in scoring in 2000-01 with 36 points. Gaborik's strong play with the Wild earn him an invite to the 2001 World Championships. In his sophomore year, Gaborik broke out offensively with the Wild, more than doubling his point totals from his rookie season, finishing the year with 67 points on the strength of 30 goals and 37 assists and took part in the inaugural YoungStars Game as part of NHL All-Star Weekend.
One of the bright young stars of the NHL, Gaborik registered his second consecutive 60-plus point season in 2002-03 and played in his first NHL All-Star Game while leading the Wild to the post-season for the first time in franchise history and a birth in the Western Conference final. After losing out to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the Western Conference final in 2003, Gaborik saw his point total slip during the 2003-04 season, after opting to hold out for the early part of the season. Without Gaborik in the lineup, the Wild struggled and could not overcome their slow start. Failing to qualify for the post season, Gaborik went on to make his second appearance at the World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic in 2004.
Injured for much of the 2005-06 season, Gaborik still managed to score 38 goals and record 66 points in just 65 games. Sadly, injuries would become a recurring theme in Gaborik's career, he missed two and a half months the following season after re-injuring the same groin that kept him out of the lineup the previous season. Though he appeared in only 48 games for the Wild that season, Gaborik still recorded an impressive 30 goals.
The 2007-08 season finally saw a healthy Gaborik take to the ice. Appearing in 77 games, he recorded a career high 42 goals, 41 assists and 83 points and was even included in the Wild's rotating captaincy for the month of March for the first time in his career. On December 20, 2007, Gaborík recorded a six-point game against the New York Rangers with five goals and an assist. This made him the first player in Wild history to score five goals in a game.
The 2008-09 season was marred by the return of injury trouble for Gaborik. He missed all but 17 games for the Wild, though he did score an impressive 13 goals. He became an unrestricted free agent at season's end and when contract negotiations stalled with the Wild, he signed a five year deal with the New York Rangers.
In his first season on Broadway, Gaborik did not disappoint. In 76 games he was among the NHL's top goal scorers, tying his career-best with 42 and setting a new career-best for points with 86.
A shoulder injury limited Gaborik to just 62 games the following season and hampered his production when he did take the ice. His offensive numbers dipped to just 22 goals, 26 assists and 48 points.
The 2011-12 season brought an offensive resurgence for Gaborik. Finally healthy again, he appeared in all 82 games for the Rangers and again surpassed the 40-goal plateau.
During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Gaborik struggled to find his scoring touch. He would record just nine goals in 35 games for the Rangers and he began to find his name mentioned in trade rumours. On April 3, 2013, the NHL's trade deadline, the rumours came to fruition when he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets along with Blake Parlett and Steven Delisle in exchange for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a draft pick.
At the trade deadline during the 2013-14 season, Gaborik was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Matt Frattin and a second and third round draft pick. With the Kings he would help lead the team to their second Stanley Cup in three years after beating the New York Rangers in five games.