The first trade of the 2009 NHL Trade Deadline, and it involves the Ottawa Senators!
TSN is reporting that the Ottawa Senators have traded C/W Antoine Vermette to the Columbus Blue Jackets for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round draft pick in 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
|2008 - Pascal Leclaire||12||674||4||6||1||1||43||3.83||324||281||.867||0|
Leclaire has missed time this season with ankle and thumb injuries, and his stats aren't very good--he's lost his starter's job to Steve Mason. Still, Leclaire has pretty good career numbers (45-55-12, .907 SP, 2.82 GAA) considering he's played for a team that has never played in the playoffs. But because his team has never played in the playoffs, Leclaire hasn't been tested in the post-season--that could be a concern going forward. In terms of his contract, Leclaire is signed for $3.8M for each of the next two seasons.
Of course, the Senators also receive a second-round draft pick, which is something that GM Bryan Murray was looking for for the off-season.
|2008 - Antoine Vermette||62||9||19||28||-12||42||2||0||0||0||141||6.4|
For Columbus, they receive a player who's flexibility more than makes up for any offensive shortcomings he has had this season. Vermette has had a slow season in 2008-09, especially in the first half, but he's been on a very disappointing Senators squad. His speed, penalty-killing abilities, and faceoff skills will offer the Jackets some valuable assets in the playoff race. His offensive flair will also offer something for the Jackets' scoring, even though he's had trouble finishing in the past. Vermette's cap hit for this season and next is $2.6725M, so the Sens lose som cap flexibility.
Vermette has been a popular player amongst Sens fans, and I'm a little disappointed to see him go. Still, we knew that this team was going to go through some changes, and the prospect of a good starting goaltender--if that's what Leclaire is (I'm not sold yet, but I'm optimistic)--plus a second-rounder seems like a good return.
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