When the day started yesterday, many around the hockey world felt that if a big name was to be traded, it would be either Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo or Miikka Kiprusoff out of Calgary. When the Columbus Blue Jackets announced they had acquired Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers a little after 2 PM ET, most experts, fans and casual fans were simply shocked that the Jackets, only two points out of eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, were adding a player of his caliber.
Gaborik’s season in New York has been a struggle to say the least. In 35 games, the former first round pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2000 entry draft, had just nine goals and 10 assists after scoring 41 goals in all 82 regular season games last season. After the 2011-12 season, owners jumped on board, making him one of their keepers, while drafting him on average late in the second round to early in the third. On the salary front, he is signed through next season with a cap hit of $7.5 million.
When we did the composite rankings for right wingers before the start of the season, Gaborik ranked first on TSN’s rankings, fourth on NHL.com, seventh on Yahoo and 12 on Yahoo for an average ranking of six. But no one could have predicted a season like this one, which has come with a possible feud with head coach John Tortorella. It’s been no secret in New York that the two weren’t getting along, and after the deal, Gaborik had this to say about going to Columbus.
“It’s good that somebody actually wants you on the team.”
Now in Columbus, Gaborik will join former Rangers forward Artem Anisimov on the top line. Here’s a look at the potential lines for the Jackets tonight against the Predators via Aaron Portzline.
Marian Gaborik Artem Anisimov Vinny Prospal
R.J. Umberger Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Cam Atkinson
Colton Gillies Brandon Dubinsky Derek MacKenzie
First Power-Play Unit
R.J. Umberber Artem Anisimov Marian Gaborik
Jack Johnson Fedor Tyutin
In a keeper league, this trade likely has you looking for other options in leagues that keep six or seven players. In deeper leagues, Gaborik can be considered a keeper, but don’t expect this trade to all of a sudden bring back the same player that has scored 40 goals three times in his career. He’s in Columbus, we can’t forget this.
Top 5 pickups in Yahoo!
1. Ryane Clowe (NYR)
2. Derick Brassard (NYR)
3. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)
5. Derek Stepan (NYR)
Top 5 drops in Yahoo!
1. Patrice Bergeron (BOS)
2. Jaroslav Halak (STL)
3. Devin Setoguchi (MIN)
4. Matt Cullen (MIN)
5. Tomas Vokoun (PIT)
Top 5 players traded in Yahoo!
1. Phil Kessel (TOR)
2. Jonathan Toews (CHI)
3. Jaromir Jagr (BOS)
4. Marian Gaborik (NYR)
5. Ryan Suter (MIN)
If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.