The New York Rangers sent right wing Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets, parting with the three-time All-Star as they fight for a playoff spot.
New Jersey, one of the teams battling with the Rangers for the final Eastern Conference postseason berth, traded with the Phoenix Coyotes for 38-year-old right wing Steve Sullivan -- who began his National Hockey League career 17 seasons ago with the Devils -- on the final day of NHL trading this season.
The Blue Jackets said they had acquired Gaborik, 31, and defensemen Steven Delisle and Blake Partlett from the Rangers in exchange for center Derick Brassard, right wing Derek Dorsett, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft.
“Our focus was to add a player who could provide a boost to our offense, improve our goal scoring and power play and we identified Marian Gaborik as the player we wanted,” Columbus General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen said yesterday in a release on the team’s website. “He has been an elite goal scorer in this league for many years and we are very excited to have him.”
Brassard had a goal and three assists last night as the Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1 at New York’s Madison Square Garden to jump up from ninth place to seventh in the conference standings. The Rangers, New York Islanders and Devils all have 39 points.
Gaborik has 333 goals and 666 points in 12 NHL seasons -- eight in Minnesota and the last four with the Rangers. A seven- time 30-goal scorer, Gaborik has nine goals and 10 assists in 35 games this season with a minus-8 rating, the second-worst defensive statistic on the team. He had 41 goals last season for the Rangers.
Delisle, 22, a 2008 draft pick of the Blue Jackets who was traded to the Rangers last year, has yet to appear in an NHL game. Partlett, 23, also has not yet appeared in an NHL game.
Brassard, 25, had 58 goals in 309 games for Columbus over the past six seasons. Dorsett, 26, had 27 goals and 727 penalty minutes in 280 games for the Blue Jackets during the last five seasons. Moore, 22, was in his third season with Columbus.
The trade came a day after the Rangers added forward Ryane Clowe from the San Jose Sharks for three draft picks. Clowe, 30, who had played his entire career with the Sharks after being drafted in 2001, scored two goals in his debut with the Rangers last night.
Also yesterday, the Penguins acquired center Jussi Jokinen, 30, the team’s second deal in a week with captain Sidney Crosby sidelined by a broken jaw. Crosby, the NHL’s leading scorer with 56 points, is out indefinitely after breaking his jaw March 30.
Jokinen joined the Penguins, who have the second-best record in the NHL, six days after the team added right wing Jarome Iginla in a trade with the Calgary Flames.
Jokinen, 30, went to Pittsburgh from the Carolina Hurricanes for a conditional sixth- or seventh-round draft pick in 2013. In 33 games this season, Jokinen has six goals and five assists.
The Sharks yesterday added veteran defenseman Scott Hannan from Nashville for a conditional sixth- or seventh-round 2013 draft pick; the Edmonton Oilers got forward Jerred Smithson from Florida for a fourth-round pick, and Chicago added forward Maxime Sauve from the Boston Bruins for forward Rob Flick.
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