Starting this season, the Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets will be in the same division and will play each other either four or five times per season.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers have made two trades in the past year:
- Rick Nash to the Rangers for Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Artem Anisimov and a first round pick
- John Moore, Derek Dorsett and Derick Brassard for Marian Gaborik
The Blue Jackets also feature former Fedor Tyutin and had Vinny Prospal last season. Prospal is now a UFA. The Blue Jackets also have John Davidson (President) and Craig Patrick (Senior Advis0r) in their front office.
The Rangers also have former Blue Jackets Anton Stralman, Aaron Johnson and former Columbus Head Coach Scott Arniel is an assistant under Alain Vigneault.
In the Columbus Dispatch, Michael Arace writes that no two teams in the NHL are as intertwined as the Rangers and Blue Jackets and that this season will see the return of Nash to Columbus and Gaborik to the Rangers.
Adam Rotter: This should be a nice little rivalry in the new division with connections between the teams at nearly every level in the organization. So far the trades have worked out for both teams. Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov went from key Rangers to being key Blue Jackets while John Moore went from not being able to crack the lineup in Columbus and Derick Brassard being considered a disappointment to being key Rangers down the stretch and in the playoffs. Rick Nash had a good season for the Rangers and Marian Gaborik, entering a contract year, should put up big numbers for Columbus.