Matt Frattin, a second-round pick and a third-round pick are heading back to the Blue Jackets in the trade. The third-round pick turns into a second-round pick if the Kings win one round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or if Gaborik, an upcoming unrestricted free agent, re-signs with L.A., according to the Columbus Dispatch.
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Three teams in the NHL have scored fewer goals than the Kings. Gaborik will be expected to contribute in that category.
"With social media right now it gets around quickly," Gaborik told TSN. "I had a hint. It wasn't official, but I talked to J.D. [John Davidson] and Jarmo [Kekalainen], the president and GM in Columbus, and they told me. I haven't had a chance to talk to L.A. yet, but I am pretty much on the way to the airport. Looking forward to this new challenge. It's been a hectic day but a new start, fresh start."
Gaborik was traded on NHL Trade Deadline day last season, when the New York Rangers moved him to the Blue Jackets in a deal that brought Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett to the Big Apple.
Gaborik played in 34 of 74 games with the Blue Jackets. He missed 40 games this season with injuries, including 23 with a broken collarbone that prevented him from playing for Slovakia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"I kind of got [messed] up here in terms of injuries and stuff, but I hope that's behind me and I can focus down the road and help the team as best I can," Gaborik said.
The Kings need some offensive help (they average 2.32 goals per game) and have to be hoping Gaborik finds his game in a push for another Stanley Cup.
Gaborik has six goals and 14 points in 22 games this season, including a goal and an assist in four games since returning from his broken collarbone. He is a three-time 40-goal scorer and has 342 goals in 791 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Rangers and Blue Jackets.
"We'll see if Gaborik can fit into our type of game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "He should be fresh."
"It's going to be tough leaving this group of guys, but at the same time hopefully get a lot more ice time there," Frattin told reporters in L.A. "It's a fresh start and they're a good team in the playoff hunt. I haven't played in five games so I'm sure something was going on. Every trade surprises. You don't expect it, but if it happens you just have to move on."
This isn't the first time Kings general manager Dean Lombardi has gone to the Blue Jackets for offensive help.
Lombardi acquired Jeff Carter from Columbus shortly before the deadline in 2012. It turned out to be a major acquisition; Carter helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup a few months later. He scored four goals in the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils, including the overtime winner in Game 2 and the Cup-clinching goal in Game 6.