That the Columbus Blue Jackets were buyers at the NHL trade deadline was something many could not have predicted a month ago.
That they traded for Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers was the shock of day.
The Rangers traded their under-performing winger for injured forward Derek Dorsett, center Derick Brasssard and a guy with a different-sounding first name, defenseman John Moore.
Gaborik had recently been demoted to the Rangersí fourth line and is in the midst of a nightmare season: 0.54 points per game, the lowest average since his rookie season with the Minnesota Wild. He has one more year at $7.5 million against the cap on his contract.
Brassard is signed for another season at $3.2 million, and had worn out his welcome in Columbus Ė he wasnít part of the teamís foundation, going forward. Dorsett is out for the season with a broken collarbone, but a heart-and-soul player when healthy Ė the type the Rangers have lacked all season. Mooreís the interesting one here: a big young (22 years old) defenseman, but one that never put it together with the Blue Jackets.
Itís a salary dump for the Rangers, and a body dump for the Blue Jackets and new GM Jarmo Kekalainen and President John Davidson.
The Jackets better their team in the short term and clear some roster space as well.
The Rangers get a player in Brassard that can help, but this isn't a giant leap into a playoff seed-type trade.
The Blue Jackets have been flirting with the playoffs; if this trade kick-starts Gaborik, they can consummate the relationship.
On the Milbury Scale, itís a THREE.
The Blue Jackets win this trade immediately, but the Rangers clear a problem contract and an underwhelming star from their roster.
Still, what a surreal moment: The Rangers deal three supporting characters for Rick Nash, and the Blue Jackets trade three supporting characters to the Rangers for Gaborik.
And, in the end, it might be the Blue Jackets that are the playoff team while Nash sits at home or plays in worlds. Again.