Category Archives: Trades

A not exactly inspiring trade deadline day

As widely expected, the Jackets were sellers at the deadline, letting go a bunch of pending UFAs and getting not a whole lot to get excited about in return.

  • Raffi Torres went to Buffalo for Nathan Paetsch and a second round pick. I liked Raffi a lot, because (when healthy) he was a gamer who seemed to come up big when it counts. A valuable asset to have on a playoff team, but we all know this team isn’t going to the playoffs this year. Paetsch is a depth defenseman.
  • Freddy Modin went to Los Angeles for a seventh round pick. As with Torres, Modin had some value when healthy, but he was almost never healthy these past few seasons. And again, with playoffs not happening, there was no need to hang onto him.
  • Milan Jurcina went back to Washington for a sixth rounder. Jurcina seemed okay, if not great, when he did get playing time in Columbus. Wouldn’t have minded hanging onto him, but as a pending UFA, I suppose a sixth round pick is better than “nothing.”
  • The long Alex Picard experiment is finally over. I always liked Picard’s heart, but he never managed to establish himself as an NHLer. He’s off to Phoenix for Chad Kolarik (brother of one-time CBJ prospect Tyler Kolarik). Another Doug first rounder is gone. Klesla, Nash, and Brassard are the only ones remaining.
  • Mathieu Roy was shipped to Florida for Matt Rust, currently playing for That Team Up North. Roy was pretty good as far as depth/injury fill-in on the blueline this year, but was likely gone as a UFA anyway.

And there you have it. If that doesn’t indicate that no one has any faith remaining that this team can make the playoffs, I don’t know what does.

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At last, a trade!

Been hearing rumors all day that Washington and Columbus were going to make a deal, and finally it is announced: Chimera to Washington for Milan Jurcina and Chris Clark. So, not exactly the big Filatov deal some were expecting.

Chimera seems like a decent enough guy, but he was never my favorite player. Hands and brain just couldn’t keep up with his feet, and he was a source of infinite frustration for those reasons.

Clark was the captain in Washington, so hopefully he’ll add some veteran leadership, something that has been lacking this year. He’s not a big scorer; I’d assume he’ll replace Chimera on the thirdfourthfirst — oh, whatever Chimera’s line was this week.

Jurcina is big and a right-handed shot. He’s definitely not the #1 d-man the Jackets have been lacking, but can hopefully help fill some of the gap left by the injury to Klesla.

Jackets make a trade

Not the big one a lot of people have been waiting for, though. From the St. Louis Blues official page:

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Tuesday the club has acquired forward Pascal Pelletier (pas-KAL, PEHL-tyay) from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Brendan Bell and Tomas Kana.

I remember Bell being seen as a promising prospect for the Leafs way back when I still lived in Canada, but he hasn’t done a great deal in the NHL, and has been playing in the AHL this season. He may get a shot in Columbus with the injury to Klesla, but I’d have to believe this is more of a move to shore up the blueline in Syracuse.

Kana, a center, is still fairly young and was a second rounder for St. Louis in ’06, so he may yet have an NHL future. But he’s been playing in the ECHL this year, which isn’t usually a great sign for a prospect who isn’t a goalie.

Legein out, Ratchuk in

Jackets add another young blueline prospect to the stable in a trade with Philly. Going the other way is Stefan Legein. Possibly best for him to just get a fresh start in another organization after everything that happened last year, and his underwhelming performance since un-retiring.

Ratchuk played for Michigan State before turning pro. Found this article about his development from the student paper there. Sounds like he’s a puck-moving defenseman, and as we all know, that’s something the Jackets have needed more of. His offensive stats thus far as a pro are not real flashy, but he’s only in his second season in the AHL. And it sounds like the Crunch have needed some help on the blueline, so hopefully Ratchuk will fill that need in the short term as well as be a longer term prospect for the CBJs.

Jackets pick up a defenseman

After flirting with Martin Skoula in training camp, Scott Howson finally made a trade to bring a defenseman (hopefully) capable of running the point on the power play — Anton Stralman from Calgary. Stralman’s career stats aren’t mind-blowing, but he’s young for a defenseman (23) and cost only a third round pick in 2010. Hopefully he will help, because in a tight Central Division, an anemic power play could ultimately cost the Jackets a playoff position.

Jackets acquire Kevin Lalande

Guess they heard me lamenting the lack of depth in net in my last post, because Scott Howson went out and swapped a pick for a goaltender, Kevin Lalande. I honestly don’t know anything about Lalande beyond what I’ve read since the trade this afternoon, so no strong opinions. He’s young and seems to have some potential. And at the moment he’s off to Syracuse.

Not a bad deadline day for Howson. He didn’t pull an Atlanta and give up good prospects for rentals. Vermette should be here for at least another season, and to get him they gave up a player who, while talented, was apparently superfluous to the team’s needs right now (and a second rounder, which is maybe a bit steep, but the history of Jackets’ second round draft picks is sorry indeed, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much).

Looking forward to the playoff run in Columbus. But mostly just looking forward to getting home to Columbus, since it feels like I’ve been gone for about a year…

Leclaire gone for Vermette

Jackets make the first big pick of the trade deadline — Pascal Leclaire and a second rounder to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette.

I’ve been in my meetings all morning chomping at the bit to post about this one! I’m admittedly not as much of a Vermette fan as some CBJ fans seem to be — I see him as a decent second line center more than as the man on the first line. Although with as well as Brassard played before his injury, that might not be a problem. In any event, Vermette certainly gives the Jackets more strength down center ice. No question about that. And given the team’s continued weakness down the middle, even before the Brassard injury, this was a good deal by Howson to shore that up.

I also have some mixed feelings about losing Leclaire. It does feel like a lot of fans turned on him very quickly when he struggled this season. I think we’ve seen that he has a lot of talent and can potentially be a very good NHL starting goalie — with the huge IF that he needs to stay healthy for that to happen, and he hasn’t been consistently healthy at any point in his pro career. And given the emergence of Mason, Pascal would have been forced into a backup role. His contract was far too rich to be a backup in a salary cap world. And even though Pascal hasn’t been known as a diva-esque goalie like some we have known — coughFreddy Norrenacough –, any competitive young goalie isn’t going to be happy for long getting backup minutes. So it was probably inevitable that he would be moved.

I do worry about what happens if Mason falters or gets hurt, since the organization is now extremely thin for depth in goal. Norrena is gone. Dubie doesn’t seem to have the confidence of Hitchcock. LaCosta played well in his short stint in the NHL, but could he handle the load if he had to take it for an extended time? I do hope we see a deal for a goalie, if not now, then in the offseason.

I also see some parallels with the Zherdev deal. Pascal could go to Ottawa and light it up next season — we know he has the ability to do that. If Mason struggles in his sophomore year, are we going to hear laments that Howson should have stuck with Pascal, the same way certain people keep bringing up Zherdev’s scoring in New York (even though Tyutin has been a good addition)? Hindsight’s always 20/20 and of course all fans always know better than the GM…

In any event, welcome to Columbus, Antoine Vermette. And good luck in Ottawa, Pascal Leclaire.