The Kings went back to one of their favorite trading partners -- the Columbus Blue Jackets – and acquired flashy forward Marian Gaborik on Wednesday for forward Matt Frattin and some conditional draft picks. Columbus is keeping about 50% of Gaborik's salary.
It was the biggest move for the surging Kings, who have won five straight games, on what has been a hectic trade-deadline day. They are obviously hoping the same circumstances are triggered after a deal with the Blue Jackets, the way it unfolded after they traded for Jeff Carter two years ago.
That was the biggest and final piece of the Kings’ Stanley Cup winning team in 2012. The difference was that Carter was not acquired on the deadline day and the Kings had to give up defenseman Jack Johnson and a future draft choice to get him.
The price, obviously, was not as high for the 32-year-old Gaborik, who has struggled with injuries this season. He only recently returned off injured reserve, having missed 22 games because of a broken collarbone.
That injury forced Gaborik, of Slovakia, to miss the Olympics in Sochi. He has six goals and eight assists in 22 games. His career-high season of 42 goals came in 2009-10 with the New York Rangers.
The Kings have long been intrigued by Gaborik, a potential game-breaker who has the ability to create something out of nothing.