Marian Gaborik landed in Columbus, providing the trade-happy Blue Jackets’ playoff push a nudge.
The purge in Buffalo continued, with the Sabres dealing captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota on Wednesday. The talent-laden Pittsburgh Penguins showed they weren’t done dealing by acquiring forward Jussi Jokinen from Carolina.
And even NHL rookie of the year candidate Cory Conacher wasn’t an untouchable after Tampa Bay traded him to Ottawa in exchange for goalie Ben Bishop.
What began as a slow day in leading up to the NHL’s mid-afternoon trading deadline, ended with a flourish as teams continued to jockey for playoff positioning with a little over three weeks to go in a lockout-shortened season.
When the dust settled, 23 teams completed 17 deals involving 30 players.
The Blue Jackets led the way with four trades in a bid to continue a late-season push to secure only their second playoff berth.
Their most notable deal involved the New York Rangers, in which Columbus acquired Gaborik and defensemen Blake Parlett and Steven Delisle. In return, the Rangers received forwards Derek Dorsett and Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Columbus also swapped goalies with Philadelphia, sending Steve Mason to the Flyers in exchange for Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in the 2015 draft. The Blue Jackets added another goalie, by acquiring Patrick Killeen from Pittsburgh.
And Columbus also added forward Blake Comeau from Calgary in exchange for a fifth-round pick this year.
Buffalo, in trading Pominville – their third core player in five days – acquired two rookies, a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a second-rounder next year.
The injury-depleted Senators got help by adding Conacher. His 24 points (nine goals) put him second in the NHL rookie scoring race and immediately makes him Ottawa’s leading scorer.
The Penguins showed they’re not done tinkering, by acquiring Jokinen for a conditional pick from Carolina.
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