Blue Jackets notebook: Gaborik trade leads to familiar forward lines

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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CHICAGO — A day after trading Marian Gaborik to the Los Angeles Kings, Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards reconfigured his lines in a way that probably looks familiar.

“What the (Gaborik) trade does is it moves Matty Calvert up,” Richards said. “We think there’s more there, as far as offense and what he can bring, especially being a young player.”

Calvert had dropped to the fourth line since Gaborik returned from a broken collarbone, but he was back with center Brandon Dubinsky and right wing Cam Atkinson last night, when the Blue Jackets played the Blackhawks.

Right wing R.J. Umberger, who had played with Dubinsky and Atkinson the past four games, was back with center Artem Anisimov and left wing Nick Foligno.

The No. 1 line — center Ryan Johansen flanked by rookie Boone Jenner and Nathan Horton — was not changed.

Newcomer Matt Frattin, acquired in the Gaborik deal, made his Blue Jackets debut on the fourth line with Derek MacKenzie and Mark Letestu.

Defenseman Nick Schultz, acquired in a trade with Edmonton on Wednesday, was paired with Dalton Prout.

The other pairs were Jack Johnson and David Savard and Nikita Nikitin and James Wisniewski.

Dano signing close

The Blue Jackets are close to signing one of their 2013 first-round draft picks to an entry-level contract.

Forward Marko Dano, the 27th overall pick in June, will sign with the Blue Jackets and play for the club’s minor-league affiliate in Springfield, Mass., as soon as the season ends for his club in Russia’s Continental Hockey League. Slovan Bratislava is playing at least two more games through Monday in a postseason tournament for clubs that didn’t make the playoffs.

Defenseman Ilari Melart, who left Springfield for the KHL in December, could return shortly after Dano. His club, Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk, has at least two more games through Tuesday.

With Dano’s signing, the Blue Jackets will have signed two of their three first-round picks from the 2013 draft. Kerby Rychel, the 19th overall pick, signed in January.

Alex Wennberg, the 14th overall pick, won’t likely be headed to the organization this season. His club in the Swedish Elite League, Frolunda, is expected to play deep into the playoffs. Also, he could represent Sweden in the world championships.

aportzline@dispatch.com

@Aportzline

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