COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -The Blue Jackets traded enigmatic offensive star Nikolai Zherdev and center Dan Fritsche to the New York Rangers for defensemen Christian Backman and Fedor Tyutin on Wednesday.
Zherdev gives the Rangers one of the NHL's best one-on-one players, but also a Russian right winger who has frequently fallen into disfavor with management and teammates. He had a career-high 61 points last season with 26 goals and 35 assists, second on the Columbus team to captain Rick Nash.
The deal remakes the Blue Jackets - who signed free agent defenseman Mike Commodore on Tuesday - into a solid defensive team in front of goalie Pascal Leclaire.
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