According to Russo, Riser feels that Gaborik's return will be the "shot in the arm" the team needs to ascend to the playoffs.
The problem, as Russo adroitly points out, is that Gaborik isn't expected back for 2-3 weeks. The Wild needs a shot in the arm right now.
It is becoming painfully clear that this is a GM who is either a coward (ie to make a trade) or unable to admit that he made mistakes in putting this team together. Neither is acceptable.
He has tried to set expectations low for this year's trade deadline yield. And, while I agree most teams will just look to just shuffle parts around - and that the Wild needs more than a couple "I just need a change of scenery to find my game" players at this point - the problem is that he then creates space for himself to do nothing. Again, either too afraid or too prideful.
If it isn't clear to him that his team needs a jolt, and that his head coach is practically begging for one, then you can add torpid or maybe obtuse to the list of descriptors for Riser. Lemaire said, "We’ve got to play the best we can, and if we don’t win, it’s because we’re not good enough" after last night's game. (Per Russo's blog.)
With the trade deadline only a few days away, we will not have to wait very long to start judging Risebrough's job this season. Waiting two weeks for Gaborik is not going to cut it. No, he doesn't need to bring in Bouwmeester and Spezza. But if he stands pat and the team continues its descent out of the playoffs then it will be open season on Mr. Risebrough. At least in this space.