GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Trades are baked into the process of professional sports and fully accepted. But that doesn't make them any less disorienting for the tradees, as 22-year-old defenseman John Moore and three other new Rangers experienced this week.
"Derick [Brassard] and I were actually sitting on the couch together," Moore said of his then-Columbus Blue Jackets teammate in the Ohio apartment they shared, "having a Subway, watching TV. Then both our phones rang and the next thing you know, we're on a plane to New York and we're playing that night. It's something I'll never forget, that's for sure."
Moore, Brassard and Derek Dorsett were part of Wednesday's deal that brought them to the Rangers in exchange for Marian Gaborik. Ryane Clowe had just come from the San Jose Sharks. Dorsett won't put on a Rangers uniform until his broken clavicle fully heals, but the other three contributed goals in Wednesday night's 6-1 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It was definitely a different experience," Moore said. "I kind of compare it to my first NHL game, the whirlwind of it all. There's so many different emotions."
None of the four had the benefit of a practice session with their new teammates before their first Rangers game. Moore and Brassard barely arrived in time for the pregame warm-ups. "They told me," Clowe said, "just go and play, which is probably the best advice I could've gotten."
Rangers coach John Tortorella still had not spoken privately to any of them through Thursday's workout. Brassard said he still was digesting the sudden change. "Show up for warm-ups, jump out there and play," he said. "Maybe a perfect scenario."
It's just hockey, said Clowe, who is 30; he's been around. And both Moore and Brassard, who is 25, had "a friendly face" in the Rangers' locker room in Rick Nash, obtained from Columbus in an offseason trade.
"When I got traded, I got a text from Nasher," Moore said. "Last year, when I was a rookie, he was the captain, so that familiarity makes it much easier."
He, Brassard and Dorsett "were very close in Columbus," Moore said. "We lived together. So that makes a big difference. Things were happening so quick. I mean, definitely, the end result [of the Pittsburgh game], the way we were able to put it together as a group, made it a lot more enjoyable. It was hectic. I think that would be the word I'd use to describe it."
They were booked into rooms "on Central Park, I think," Brassard said.
"It kind of hit us pretty quick [after Wednesday's game], when we were speeding in the back of a cab to the hotel," Moore said, "that it's a real change of pace from Columbus."