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Slumping Gaborik shipped to Jackets

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NEW YORK -- This season wasn't much fun in New York for slumping forward Marian Gaborik. He wasn't scoring goals the way he was used to, and he and his Rangers teammates found themselves in an unexpected fight just to get into the playoffs.

So in a swift move Wednesday, just before the NHL trade deadline, Gaborik was shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the biggest deal of the day.

Gaborik was traded for centre Derick Brassard, injured right wing Derek Dorsett, defenceman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft. Two minor league players were sent to Columbus by the Rangers.

This marked the second swap of star players between the teams within the past year.

The first sent Rick Nash to the Rangers last summer. Gaborik briefly spoke to Nash about Columbus before hopping a flight to meet up with his new club in Nashville.

"I didn't have fun this year," Gaborik said during a conference call. "I don't think the whole team has at all, too, so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

One season after having the best record in the East, the Rangers have struggled.

"I had a lot of fun in New York but the way this kind of played out, actually one team wanted me and indicated they are going in the right direction and wanted to trade for me," he said. "When I was in New York we didn't really perform the way we should, myself included.

"It wasn't the way anybody expected."

Gaborik waived a no-movement clause in order to allow the deal to be completed.

"They're a team that really wants me. I made my decision after that," Gaborik said.

It was the second big trade for the playoff-hopeful Rangers in two days. On Tuesday night, New York acquired forward Ryane Clowe from the San Jose Sharks for a package of three draft picks.

All the healthy players were in New York's lineup Wednesday night for a 6-1 home win over the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

Clowe had a huge game, scoring twice and adding an assist while Brassard scored once and added three assists.

"I believe the deal worked for both teams because I think he is going to play really well," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We get a number of assets and some depth onto our team moving forward."

New York and Columbus have become big-time trading partners in recent times.

The Rangers received top-line forward Nash from the Blue Jackets in a trade last July that sent Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round pick in this year's draft to Columbus.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 4, 2013 D5

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