Marian Gaborik traded to Kings

Marian Gaborik was traded on Wednesday by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Los Angeles Kings for a player and two picks.

Oft-injured right wing played just 34 times for Columbus

Marian Gaborik will join his fourth NHL club and head back to the Western Conference. (Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

Marian Gaborik was traded on Wednesday by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Los Angeles Kings for a player and two picks.

The Blue Jackets get right wing Matt Frattin and a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, plus a conditional third-rounder if the Kings win their first-round playoff series or re-sign Gaborik.

"We're a very good team, but if you're looking at what you could add to the mix, I guess it's fair to say it's a player who can make something out of nothing with his speed and ability," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "You want to make sure your team has all the weapons necessary, and I think this is one weapon we were lacking."

It's the second straight season in which Gaborik has been dealt late in the campaign. He played just 34 games in Columbus since moving from the New York Rangers in 2013.

Gaborik ranks 15th among active players with 342 goals in 791 games in a career that began with nearly eight seasons with the Minnesota Wild. He has added 346 assists for 688 points, with 91 power-play markers.

"There's very few players that are capable of doing what he does in his game," Lombardi said. "There was a very short list for us, and one of the reasons we initiated discussions is he's one of very few people we thought would be available."

Injuries have long been an issue for Gaborik, as he's missed last 15 games in a season on six occasions.

The 32-year-old Slovakian forward, who makes $7.5 million US this season, is set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Columbus will pay a portion of his remaining salary as part of the deal.

The Kings, despite being a Stanley Cup contender, rank just 27th in goals.

Frattin had just two goals and six assists in 46 regular-season and playoff games with Los Angeles. He was acquired by the club in the deal last summer that saw Jonathan Bernier head to Toronto.

"Our goal was to protect the future of the franchise in the best possible way that we could," said Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, saying it had been apparent for a while that Gaborik would not re-sign with the club. "We're a young team, a blue-collar team, a hard-working team. And he's a finesse, skilled player that wasn't the greatest fit. I'll take responsibility for that."

For his career, Frattin has 17 goals and 17 assists in 122 regular-season games in the NHL after playing college hockey at the University of North Dakota.

With files from The Associated Press


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