NHL Trade Deadline 2013: Marian Gaborik Reportedly Traded to Blue Jackets

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NHL Trade Deadline 2013: Marian Gaborik Reportedly Traded to Blue Jackets
Elsa/Getty Images

In one of the most shocking NHL trades of the past decade, the New York Rangers have reportedly traded star winger Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

TSN's Darren Dreger first reported the deal via Twitter:

 

Per TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Blueshirts have been sent a four-item package in return:

 

Per Andrew Goss of the New Jersey Record, Gaborik will have a little company headed with him to Ohio:

 

One year ago, the Blue Jackets finished 30th in the NHL by a mile.

Just less than 12 months later, they're one point out of a playoff position and are now loaded with one of the NHL's most explosive scorers.

Gaborik, 31, was the third-overall pick in the 2000 draft. In the 13 years since, he's scored 333 goals, 333 assists and hit the 40-goal plateau three separate times.

The Big Apple had recently grown impatient with Gaborik, who has just 19 points and a minus-eight rating this season. A few trade rumors had fluttered throughout the past month, and the Slovakia native's status as a franchise cornerstone had become quite a bit shakier.

But no one expected a trade. Certainly no one expected a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

No one expected this.

Indeed, the Rangers will get a noteworthy return on the highly talented winger.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Derick Brassard headlines the list of items headed back to the Rangers in return.

Brassard, 26, is six years younger and actually has just one fewer point than Gaborik this season—18. He'll be a solid mid-line center for New York in the coming years.

Moore, 22, may have only one point and a minus-five rating in 17 appearances in 2013, but he's also got plenty of years of development ahead of him and is still less than four years removed from being picked 21st overall.

Even Dorsett, 26, can be a reliable third-line checking forward—he's coming off a career-high 12 goals a season ago and has registered nine points in 24 games this year.

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Yet it is, without doubt, the Blue Jackets who steal the headlines and send a message to the rest of the NHL with this trade.

Since their inaugural season in 2000 (ironically, the same year Gaborik was drafted), the Jackets have never won a single playoff game. They've played in a small market, struggled with attendance and struggled even more with winning.

And now, loaded with Gaborik and an overperforming roster of castaways and journeymen, they're arguably now a front-runner in the Western Conference playoff race.

Three months ago, absolutely no one expected that.

But, then again, nor did anyone expect this.

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