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COLUMBUS — The Blue Jackets have rarely been in a playoff race since they entered the league in 2000.
So, in this season of surprise for Columbus, they surely wanted to take advantage of their position in the Western Conference.
So they did just that.
Three-time NHL all-star Marian Gaborik was the marquee player among four deals today as the improved Blue Jackets treated the trade deadline day as an opportunity to gear up for the postseason.
Gaborik and minor league defensemen Steven Delisle and Blake Partlett were acquired from the New York Rangers for center Derick Brassard, right wing Derek Dorsett, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Entering play tonight, Columbus was 11th overall in the West, but just one point out of the eighth and final playoff berth. The Blue Jackets have made the postseason just once in their history.
"You can see," Gaborik said, "this team is going in the right direction."
The Blue Jackets (15-14-7) entered March with the fewest points in the NHL but went 10-2-4 for their best month in history and know the final 12 games will have playoff implications.
"It's good to be playing these type of games this time of the year," Columbus forward R.J. Umberger said. "It's been a few years since these games meant something."
Columbus also dealt goalie Steve Mason to Philadelphia for Michael Leighton and a third round pick in 2015 in an exchange of backup goaltenders, and traded for Calgary forward Blake Comeau, as well.
The Flames received a fifth-round selection in 2013.
In a minor-league deal, the Jackets acquired goaltender Patrick Killeen from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for future considerations.
Red Wings add depth at goaltending
DETROIT — The Red Wings signed Northern Michigan University goalie Jared Coreau to a three-year entry level contract, and they also recalled defenseman Brian Lashoff from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
The 21-year-old Coreau started all 38 games for the Wildcats this season and finished with a 2.70 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.
Lashoff has appeared in 30 games for the Red Wings this season tallying five points.
He's played 37 games for Grand Rapids in 2012-13.