The Columbus Blue Jackets made the most surprising deal of last week’s trade deadline when they acquired forward Marian Gaborik. It was a move that was an intriguing one on multiple levels.
The first is simply the fact that Gaborik moved. It’s not often you see a player of his caliber moved on an in-season trade. Then there’s the matter of the fact that the trade talks reportedly went on for several days prior to the deadline, yet we heard nothing until about 20 minutes before the deadline. That’s perhaps the most impressive aspect of this deal.
However, the most intriguing aspect is obviously what it means for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaborik gives them the star player that they lost when they traded Rick Nash last summer. But is he enough to put the Jackets into the postseason?
The Blue Jackets have been one of the league’s wealth of surprise teams in this shortened season. They’re currently right in the thick of things in fighting for that final playoff spot in the Western Conference. That comes despite putting up goals at one of the worst rates in the league.
Could Gaborik’s presence alone help their offense enough in order to help them crack the top eight and make a completely unlikely postseason appearance? In two games with the Blue Jackets, he already has three points. He had a goal and an assist in his first game, which was a win, before adding an assist in his second appearance.
Gaborik is a player that has put up at least 30 goals seven times in his career. Even though he’s spent most of the 2013 season mired in an offensive slump, he’s capable of giving this club the spark they need. If he catches fire, this team could very well be postseason-bound by the end of the month.