Though Marian Gaborik is the Minnesota Wild’s all-time franchise leader in goals, plus-minus, power play goals, game-winning goals and shots, and ranks second in points, he enjoyed a stellar three and a half-year campaign with the New York Rangers, with whom he scored 114 goals over 255 games after signing a five-year, 37.5-million dollar contract in the 2009 off-season.

Off the ice, he was fortunate to live in Manhattan, which doesn’t seem like the worst place to spend several years in the National Hockey League.

“I had a great time,” he said. “Living in the city, playing in New York, it was cool, for sure.”

He also provided a great moment in the compelling Rangers-Flyers season on 24/7: The Road to the Winter Classic.

“It was fun. It was good, something different,” he said about having cameras in the locker room for a month during the season. “It’s a long year, and that kind of spiced things up a little bit, so it was kind of cool.”

The Rangers navigated a lengthy run in 2012 and very nearly played the Kings in the Final, but Adam Henrique’s early overtime goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final ended a dream New York run and forced a Kings-Devils series. That game capped a modest five-goal, 11-point run over 20 games with the defensively attuned Rangers and was the last playoff game he played before suiting up for Los Angeles in Game 1 at the SAP Center in late April.

He’ll face a collection of friends and former teammates in the quest for his first Stanley Cup.

“I think now, when I think about it, it’s going to be a little weird, you know?” Gaborik said. “But at the same time, when the puck will drop, you don’t think about it. You just play like every other team, and just focus on what you’ve got to.”

Though other players have felt unfamiliar emotions when facing former teammates, Gaborik isn’t exactly overthinking the situation.

“It’s as much as you kind of want it to be, as much as you let yourself think how you want it to be,” he said. “The bottom line, you’ve just got to focus on what you’ve got to do. You can’t let emotions kind of take over in terms of that it’s your former team. So just go out there and play.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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