ATLANTA -- It is arguable Minnesota's Marian Gaborik is one of the most exciting players to watch, and one of the league's better personalities off the ice. Despite having a quiet start to his season with the defensive-oriented Wild -- one in which he actually apologized to fantasy hockey owners who drafted him -- the native of Slovakia captured the attention of the hockey world with his five-goal, six-point effort against the Rangers on Dec. 20.
Gaborik spoke about his role in tonight's SuperSkills competition:
Q: Do you think about what you plan on doing in the breakaway challenge?
Gaborik: Not really. I just try to get it on the goalie. The worst thing is, I'm worried I'm going to think of something and then think of doing something else.
Q: What is the priority? Do you think about scoring?
Gaborik: I think creativity. If you haven't tried those moves in a game, then you don't know what you're going to do. To score is going to be tough. The goalies are going to be ready. They're not going to allow the goals. So I think being creative will be better for the fans.
Q: Does anything go?
Gaborik: I think so. I saw in Calgary they were doing a skills (competition) and they were doing all sorts of things, sliding and stuff. I guess anything go.
Q: So fastest skater didn't pop up? They didn't ask you to do it?
Gaborik: No, no. There's a list of things, and I guess (Duncan) Keith, (Anze) Kopitar and (Shawn) Horcoff are doing that. I just didn't find myself there.
Q: Have you been thinking about your breakaway moves?
Gaborik: A little bit. I'll have to practice it a little bit.
Q: Anything we've seen before?
Gaborik: Yeah, I'll have to see what I can do. I don't want to be too crazy.
Q: You see what they are able to do in the slam dunk competition, and with hockey it really comes down to basics. How do you start throwing moves into that?
Gaborik: In the slam dunk, though, you don't have a goalie. We've got goalies here. We've got to be creative and score goals as well.