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We have a trade to announce: Jackets send Vermette to Phoenix for picks and McElhinney

Feb 22, 2012, 1:35 PM EDT

Antoine Vermette

The Columbus Blue Jackets have unloaded a sizeable contract, trading center Antoine Vermette to Phoenix for a 2012 second-round pick, a conditional 2013 fifth-rounder, and 28-year-old goalie Curtis McElhinney, who had abdominal surgery in January after spending most of the season in the AHL.

Vermette, 29, is signed until 2014-15 with a cap hit of $3.75 million. Like most of the Jackets, he’s underachieved this season, scoring just eight times in 60 games. In 2009-10, Vermette had a career-high 27 goals with 38 assists.

For the potentially (if not likely) playoff-bound Coyotes, the trade nets them a proven two-way center that went to the Cup finals in 2007 with the Sens and should theoretically fit the team’s style. Plus they didn’t have to give up a roster player.

For the Jackets, it nets them cap space. And if Jeff Carter is eventually traded as well, it leaves a more prominent role for their two young centers, Derick Brassard and Ryan Johansen.

“This is moving forward,” Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson told the Columbus Dispatch. “We have to move forward. It wasn’t working this season as we expected. We’re going to move forward and this is part of the process of reshaping the team.”

Howson added: “This gives us more flexibility. It’s never fun trading anybody. I don’t think any GM enjoys that. But this is about us moving the team forward.”

In conclusion, the Jackets are moving forward.

  1. federovs4skn - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    red wings need rick nash. then we will be unstoppable. bring on the 12th cup!!

  2. contraryguy - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Vermette for two picks and a guy who probably can’t lace his own skates right now. Awesome. Pure cap dump, nothing more to see here. :/

    • drewsylvania - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      A 2nd-round pick isn’t terrible, but yeah.

      • contraryguy - Feb 22, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        Most who follow the draft say this year’s class isn’t going to be very deep. Seems like a lot of D prospects though and if CBJ doesn’t get the top spot (which might be a minor win considering their curse with Russian draftees) then they could use the 2nd rounders for offense. Or the elusive goalie.

    • danphipps01 - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      Yup. Phoenix thoroughly destroyed them in this trade, but that’s not surprising at all. Cap dumps are almost always ripoffs. The only goal is to clear space. Still, given CBJ’s complete inability to draft anything of worth except Nash, this seems like a particularly bad deal. Lord knows Howson’s not going to use that second-rounder to do anything useful. He never does.

  3. govtminion - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Define ‘moving forward’, Mr. Howson.

    • federovs4skn - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      who even knew phoenix had a hockey team. HOCKEYTOWN USA

      • danphipps01 - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Oh God, now Detroit’s got one too.

        … hang on, you’re the Pens guy too, aren’t you?

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    If we go off of his stats this year, the Jackets won this trade… if we go off his last years stats, PHX wins in a land slide.

    I look at it as a big who cares

    • danphipps01 - Feb 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      If we go by the stats this year, Nash is an average second-line winger making as much as some teams’ second lines. The stats this year are a result of the entire franchise imploding. Vermette was a massive steal at this price.

    • crazemastercraze - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      if i were a Jackets fan, i would never use the term “We”…..

  5. 2qswing - Feb 22, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Jackets must lead the league in on-ice giveaways. This is just the latest example of an off-ice giveaway. I’m sure the scouts will turn these draft picks into gold.

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