I don’t like Kurtis Gabriel but I love his player type and I think he fits right in with the Sharks. The fact that he has two fights in four games is a good start. Gabriel has only played against Vegas and St. Louis this season but I’m sure he will see more ice time going forward. One thing this “tough guy” is good at is talking shit during pregame warmups. But can he back the shit talking with fighting some of the most elite in the game?
Fighting is alive and well in the NHL when some might thought this part of the game was fading away. Guys like Tom Wilson are good for the game as long as he doesn’t kill anybody with an illegal hit. I can’t stand Tom Wilson ask anybody at TMS how I feel about the trash can. This might be a stretch but I am willing to say Kurtis Gabriel could be a Tom Wilson type of player if he can work on his offensive game. Somebody that you love to hate is always a favorite in the league and if Evander Kane doesn’t get his finances straight the Sharks might have his replacement. If San Jose decides to ship out Gabriel the Red Wings might want to jump in on the trade.
Let’s focus on last night’s game against the Blues where Gabriel had a total of 4:10 in ice time. Besides the fight with Kyle Clifford the only other time I noticed Gabriel was during pregame warmups. Gabriel says he didn’t forget what Binnington did and I find that funny because Gabriel was playing with the Barracudas the last time the Blues played the Sharks.
Had Gabriel not found a dance partner in Clifford, I’m sure Dunn would have stepped in. Defenseman Vince Dunn is no stranger to Kurtis Gabriel. Time travel back to 2017 when the Chicago Wolves were the AHL affiliate of the Blues.
If one thing is certain Kurtis Gabriel has made his presence known in the NHL and I doubt he is going away anytime soon. I hope he stays with the Sharks because I hate the Sharks. If you want to follow along on twitter Gabriel is pretty active. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a Tony DeAngelo situation.
I’d love to see a Gabriel/Valabik duo with the New York Rangers in 2022, though I’d prefer a Chara/Scott duo myself (the Chara/Scott duo would provide leadership, which the Rangers do NOT have. Their veterans suck ass at that job). The New York Rangers are in desperate need in toughness. Also, I’d love to see the Rangers draft Mason McTavish for their first round pick in the NHL 2021 Draft.