It’s official: Rangers trade Gaborik to Columbus


A stunner of a deal coming out of Ohio today — the Blue Jackets have acquired New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik.

The deal was pending as Gaborik held  no-trade clause, which he waived.

The move is an absolute blockbuster for rookie GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who has only been on the job in Columbus since mid-February.

That said, New York’s return is plentiful. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports forwards Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and defenseman John Moore (plus a sixth-round pick in 2013) are on their way to the Big Apple.

Full Deal

To Columbus: Marian Gaborik, Steven Delisle, Blake Partlett
To New York Rangers: Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, ’14 sixth-round pick.

Brassard was Columbus’ first-round pick in 2006, Moore the club’s first-rounder in 2009 and Dorsett is one of the team’s alternate captains.

It should be noted that Dorsett is likely done for the season with a broken clavicle. ESPN’s Katie Strang is reporting that Dorsett could be back by the playoffs, though.

A three-time 40-goal scorer (including 41 last year), Gaborik will provide instant offense to a Columbus team that only has one 10-goal scorer this year in Vinny Prospal.

That said, the BJ’s will have to pay.

Gaborik has two years remaining on his five-year, $37.5 million deal and carries an annual cap hit of $7.5 million.

He’s been in a slump this season, scoring just 9G-10A-10PTS in 35 games, but those numbers still make him Columbus’ third-leading scorer behind Prospal (21 points and Mark Letestu (20).

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?