We all thought this year's trade deadline would lack major stories and surprises. Wrong! Marian Gaborik has been dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett along with a sixth-round pick, as reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie.
The surprising Gaborik trade came just minutes after Columbus sent backup netminder Steve Mason over to the Philadelphia Flyers, a deal that gave hockey fans around the country (maybe not in Philadelphia) a nice laugh. That laughter evaporated and was replaced by shock when we all learned that Columbus added a new offensive weapon.
Chalk this up as one of the most surprising deadline deals of the past several seasons. Columbus is making a serious push in 2013 and they are paying a steep price to do it.
Just a day after trade talk surrounding Gaborik had reportedly "cooled", he's dealt to the Blue Jackets. Through 35 games in 2013, Gaborik has tallied nine goals and 10 assists for a total of 19 points. His offensive numbers are down in 2013 when compared to his 41-goal 2011-12, but the fact is New York's offense as a whole has been missing most of the year. Gaborik has struggled, but his decline has been influenced by the men around him.
Gaborik, 31, comes over to a Columbus team that's battling for a playoff spot and could use an offensive spark. Needless to say, Gaborik should provide it and could take on the role that was vacated when the team dealt Rick Nash to the Rangers.
Gaborik is a huge addition for the Blue Jackets, but they had to pay a steep price to obtain him.
Brassard, 25, has 18 points in 34 games with the Blue Jackets this season. He has been a rather consistent offensive weapon, scoring 47 points in 2010-11 and 41 in 2011-12. Some analysts believe Brassard can take his game to a higher level and can be a bigger weapon, but that remains to be seen.
Dorsett is a piece the Rangers will have to wait to see out on the ice. The forward suffered a fractured clavicle (*shudder*) and is out for the rest of the 2013 season. When healthy, he appeared in 24 games, lighting the lamp three times while assisting on six goals. At 26, Dorsett is another player that has room to grow in the NHL. He's a gritty player that's constantly involved in the physical areas of the game as evidenced by his 727 penalty minutes in 280 career games.
The final player involved in the deal is John Moore, a young defenseman (22) that the jury is still out on. He's played in 86 NHL games, scoring two goals and six assists. He has the capability to be a big impressive defenseman, but so far he hasn't proven himself with the Blue Jackets. Perhaps a change of scenery will elevate his game.
Got all that?
Essentially, it boils down to Columbus grabbing a struggling, yet elite forward while dumping several players off their roster. New York clears a big contract (Gaborik is owed $7.5 million in 2013 and in 2013-14) off of their books while accumulating several fairly young pieces that could develop into fine assets.
Perhaps ironically, we saw nearly an identical trade when the Rangers acquired Rick Nash from the Blue Jackets. Now the roles are reversed.