The New York Rangers have shocked the NHL by trading star winger Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets just before the trade deadline at 3 pm ET. The Rangers will receive injured forward Derek Dorsett, center Derick Brassard, and defenseman John Moore in return for Gaborik.
The 31-year-old has 19 points in 35 games this season, while the Rangers have just recently joined the playoff race in the Eastern Conference after a slow start. Only two points separate the Rangers from the New York Islanders and seventh place, making the trade with the Blue Jackets a risky one at best.
Gaborik hasn’t played his best hockey in 2013, but could catch fire at any moment, like any other superstar in the NHL. There’s no questioning his stardom, as the three time All-Star posted 76 points while appearing in every game for the Rangers last season.
Gaborik scored 41 goals in 2012, good enough for third in the NHL, and led the Rangers into the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the New Jersey Devils in six games. This year is a different story, as Gaborik has dropped to the Rangers fourth line in the midst of his worst season since his rookie year with the Minnesota Wild.
The Blue Jackets had to part ways with Derick Brassard to bring in Gaborik, who was third on the team with 18 points behind Vinny Prospal and Mark Letestu. Derek Dorsett had nine points in 24 games before fracturing his clavicle, forcing him to miss the rest of the season, only now as a member of the Rangers.
Defenseman John Moore will also join the Rangers, but has spent most of his career in the minors, including 24 games with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League this season. He will more than likely be sent to the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers AHL affiliate.
The Blue Jackets are in a race for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs in the first week of April, a feat many people didn’t believe was possible at this time of the lockout-shortened season. Columbus has held tough in the West, and is just one point away from the St. Louis Blues for the final spot, who are also readying for a playoff race with acquisitions of their own.
The Blue Jackets have plenty of company, as their are four other teams that could climb quickly up the rankings. The Nashville Predators are percentage points away from the Blues while the Edmonton Oilers are locked with the Blue Jackets at 37 points.
The trade may have been a blessing in disguise for Marian Gaborik, as a change in atmosphere is one of the best recipes to cure a cold streak.
Could the change in scenery be the spark Marian Gaborik needs to get back on track as he joins the Columbus Blue Jackets?
[Image via Creative Commons]