directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Howson nets Vermette

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Howson nets Vermette

2001 Trade Deadline
* Columbus traded Frantisek Kucera to Pittsburgh for Pens' 6th round pick in 2001.

* Columbus traded Kevyn Adams and a cond. pick in 2001 or 2002 to Florida for Ray Whitney.

* Columbus traded Steve Heinze to Buffalo for Sabres' 3rd round pick in 2001.

2002 Trade Deadline
* Acquired right wing Blake Sloan from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Jamie Allison.

* Acquired defenseman Lyle Odelein from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Jaroslav Spacek and a 2003 second-round draft pick.

* Acquired defenseman Jamie Pushor from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2003 Entry Draft.

2003 Trade Deadline
* Columbus trades Grant Marshall to New Jersey for a conditional pick in 2004.

2004 Trade Deadline
* Pittsburgh traded Brian Holzinger to Columbus for Lasse Pirjeta.

* Columbus traded Geoff Sanderson to Vancouver for a 3rd round pick in 2004 (Dan Lacosta).

2005 Trade Deadline

2006 Trade Deadline
* No Columbus trades.

2007 Trade Deadline
* Brian Boucher claimed off waivers

* Columbus traded Ty Conklin to Buffalo for a 5th round pick (traded to Dallas as part of package for Maksim Mayorov)

2008 Trade Deadline
* Columbus trades Sergei Fedorov to Washington for Teddy Ruth

* Columbus trades Adam Foote to Colorado for conditional 1st round pick (which is later traded for RJ Umberger) and conditional pick on Foote re-signing (which I believe is a 4th rounder)

2009 Trade Deadline
* Columbus trades Pascal Leclaire and 2nd round pick to Ottawa for Antoinne Vermette

* Columbus trades 4th round pick to Calgary for Kevin Lalande

Eight trade deadlines have passed and finally the Columbus Blue Jackets are buyers. That is a long time to wait but damn it feels good to be on the other side of one of these days for once.

By now everyone knows the Jackets made two moves today. The big one bringing in versatile forward Antoinne Vermette for 2002 first round pick Pascal Leclaire and a 2nd round pick.

The goods on Vermette:

ASSETS: Has excellent offensive instincts, on-ice vision and soft hands. Is dedicated to the game and displays loads of perseverance. Can play any position up front, and any role on a hockey team.
FLAWS: Will need to fill out his 6-1 frame to thrive at the NHL level. Does he have enough upside to make an offensive impact in the big league?
CAREER POTENTIAL: Top six forward.

At first glance it seems like a lot to give up for a player who only has 28 points (9g, 19a) in 62 games. Lets break it down a little further:

While having a down year this season (as most are in Ottawa) Vermette has scored over 44 points in the previous 3 season including two back to back 50+ point campaigns before this.

He's young at age 26, signed though next year at a reasonable 3 million dollars, and obviously plays a position that is of major need for the Jackets at center ice.

So why wasn't trading Leclaire enough to land this guy?

The quick answer to that is the Sens are assuming more risk in this deal than the Jackets.

Leclaire, while certainly having the talent to be a #1 guy, is injury prone and expensive. He hasn't played in more than 54 games his entire career and costs $3.6M next season and $4.8M in 2010-11.

Ottawa is taking the greater risk thus wanted compensated for it. The form of that compensation came at the cost of a 2nd round pick.

For the cost Howson gets a much needed boost down the middle of his lineup and he clears a butt load of salary in the process.

Ottawa gets a number #1 goalie in talent if he can stay healthy and 2nd round pick for assuming more of the risk both medically and financially.

I do think the 2nd round pick is a bit of an overpayment but after thinking it through its not too far off. I'm sure he shot as low as he could but obviously needed to sacrifice the 2nd to close this deal.

Kudos to him for getting his guy without giving up anyone currently on the roster. I think Vermette and his style of play is going to fit like a glove in terms of this roster and system.

The second deal of the day came on a much lower scale and saw Howson ship a 4th round pick to Calgary for goaltender Kevin Lalande.
Lalende was a 5th round selection of the Flames in the 2005 Entry Draft.

The Jackets are ridiculously thin at the goaltending position so this was a move to try to shore up that depth.

Lalande is a project. He's got decent size for a goaltender at 6ft 180lbs. He bounced around from the ECHL to the AHL this season. In his 6 games with the AHL's Qaud City Flames he is 4-1-1 with a .929 save% and 1.94 Save%.

My guess is he reports directly to Syracuse and splits time with Dan LaCosta.

It was a good day to be a Jackets fan. Now its time to win some games. The Jackets are right back at it against division nemesis the Nashville Predators tomorrow night. This is the same Preds who are all of a sudden just 2 points behind the Jackets in the playoff race.

Yep... just another one of the biggest games in Jackets history.

Finally, I would like thank Pascal Leclaire for his time in Columbus and to wish the best of luck in his new city.



Hitch Rules said...

Uh, although perhaps a few days before the trade deadline, Anson Carter was traded by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Carolina's 2008 5th round draft choice (Tomáš Kubalík)

Hitch Rules said...

Oh, and best of luck, Pazzy!

Welcome to C-Bus, Antoine! And welcome to the playoff run, something you're back in the hunt for!

Pub said...

Do you think maybe LaCosta comes up and serves as the backup now?

Massive Hockey said...

The schedule the next few games is a real bugger, so sure hope AV helps them hang tough. With Torres finally starting to run in the big gear, and with Klesla and Modin coming back, things are looking Massive!

Mason has been letting in more easy goals the last 2 weeks, but he's still above average and dealing Paz was salary smart. Cheers and good luck, Paz.

eplagge said...


You are dead right, we did overpay a little.. BUT look at it this way.. a 2nd round pick.. and the jackets are in the middle of the pack translates into 45th (plus/minus)... The stats show that picks in the 40-50 range... only 20% of those will end up being NHL players... the vast majority of them are role players on the 3rd and 4th line.. so it's not exactly a large payment... but it is depth none the less... and unfortunately we had to overpay, because Ottawa is taking a LOT of risk... One of the TSN guys pulled the following stat on LeClaire..

LeClaire has NOT played more then 12 CONSECUTIVE games in the NHL...

And to be quite honest, do we trust a goaltender who depends on his reaction time and quickness to really be the #1 guy if he already has had multiple joints operated on below the waist...

LTL said...

Eplagge - that is a great stat on Leclaire.

I felt good about this trade yesterday...but the more and more I think about it I feel great.

Hopefully we can get Vermette in the lineup tonight.

Pub - I think they'll ride Mase/Dubie combo... *but* should Mase go down (knock on wood) then I think they'd run with LaCosta. For now I think they want him getting as much playing/development time in Syracuse as possible.


JAL said...

I agree with a lot of what has been said. The 2nd round pick was needed due to a)the degree of risk Ottawa is assuming with Leclaire's injury status, not limited to the ankle; and b)the fact that Vermette has a full year contract beyond this one.

eplagge is dead on -- very tough for a goaltender of Leclaire's size and style to maintain effectiveness when the lower body starts going.

As Howson said yesterday, this was the perfect time to move Pascal--before injuries crop up again and before more of his slary kicks in.

Excellent deal!

A Shot From The Point

eplagge said...

Jal makes an excellent point about Vermette's contract being very good and he still has 1 year left.. Furthermore LeClaire has 2 years left on his contract, and he has basically NO competition at Ottawa, so he should be played hard, let's say about 160 games.... as a fan I would estimate he only plays about 60-90 total... I am willing to bet in the next 2 years he will once again blow up an ankle or a knee... and consequently be on IR plus recovery for months.. He's a player that plays a very demanding style of goaltending and history has proven he's very fragile.. not a good combination..

JAL said...

eplagge brings up a good point about how fragile Pazzy is. We have all focused on the ankle, which is clearly a legitimate and serious deal, but remember back to all of the "little" things that kept hime out of the lineup for 4 or 5 days at a time.

Our eyes were opened when we went to Syracuse for a game this year, after seeing the Buffalo/CBJ game (ironically a 6 - 1 victory with Leclaire in net--his last win as a Jacket). We got talking with the Syracuse fan club folks and some others, and were amazed at their dislike for Pazzy -- not as a person, but as an athlete. Their view uniformly was that he was a whiny sort who would not play through injuries.

In contrast, they thought Mason was everything we would ever want in a goalie, and a tough kid. It was fascinating, considering that Mason had just come up and gone 3 -1 in his first 4 games, but nobody yet was predicting the quantum shift between the pipes.

Time to focus on Nashville!

A Shot From The Point