The deal will send the Rangers right wing Derek Dorsett, center Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in 2014. Dorsett is currently on injured reserve, but his agent has reported that he will return by the start of the playoffs.
It was natural for New York to make a deal at the trade deadline as they sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points, and moving Gaborik seemed inevitable. After posting a 41-goal campaign in 2011-12, Gaborik has struggled to find any consistency for the Rangers this season. His track record as a premier scorer, however, gave New York a great bargaining chip to improve down the road.
Gaborik has nine goals and 19 points for New York this season.
New York also sheds salary from their books by trading Gaborik, who was slated to make $7.5 million in the final year of his contract next season.
The Rangers are clearly trying to put together a team that can squeeze into the playoffs and make a run next season, while the Blue Jackets are going all-in by acquiring Gaborik. Columbus is also trying to secure a playoff spot as they sit one point behind the eighth place St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference.
John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.