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Marian Gaborik is a right wing currently playing for a team somewhere. I used to think he was the bees knees when he played for the Minnesota Wild, a National Hockey League team based in St. Paul, Minnesota of the USA. Gaborik was once considered a star, but he went supernova in my eyes when he was seduced by the dreadful Rangers.

Gaborik led the Wild to their first playoff appearance in the 2002-2003 season. I was still a young lad then, filled with hopes and dreams and the stuff that makes people believe there's a future worth striving toward. They made it to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before succumbing to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Everything was so bright, exploding in vibrancy, but the sun set and the forest became dark and frightening.

Gaborik was the Wild's number one draft pick in 2000, number 3 overall. Selected ahead of him in the draft were Rick DiPietro from Boston University by the New York Islanders and Dany Heatley from the University of Wisconsin by the Atlanta Thrashers. I've learned that players come and players go. There is no need to attach any emotional bond to an athlete. They're just like pets. Their life span is not the same as a human, so you might as well never rely on them.

Gaborik scored the first goal in the Wild's regular season history on October 6, 2000 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. I pumped my fist in jubilation, dancing around the room, humming "The State of Hockey" to myself. Now when someone scores I can barely muster my chin from chest to steal a glance at an old show. He might still wear the number 10, I really don't care anymore. When I first wrote this he was in his fourth season of NHL play. It doesn't matter what season he's in anymore or whether he's still playing or not. His departure began my disillusion with the glitz of professional athletics. There are no more heroes on the ice, or the diamond, or the pitch, or the field.

Gaborik signed a new contract with the Wild for three years worth approximately ten million dollars a long while ago. There was a time when I became excited about the possibilities of the world filtered through the lens of sports and athletes. However, that time is long gone.

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