Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Going... Going... Twan...

Oops.

Guess I should have made Antoine Vermette part four of the "Bubble Hockey (Players)" series.

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded Vermette this afternoon to the Phoenix Coyotes, in exchange for a second round pick in 2012 and a fifth rounder in 2013 -- fourth rounder if the Coyotes win a Playoff series this year, apparently -- and goaltender Curtis McElhinney.

I found out from Vermette's number one fan's Facebook page while getting lunch. Figures the team would do that while I'm away from my computer. (I'm kidding)

However, the crack research team here at MartiniHockey.net [read: me scrambling to get to McElhinney's page on NHL.com] got on top of the job as quickly as possible to get the most important nuggets of the deal.

The Jackets get the picks... those never hurt. The Coyotes are hot right now despite injury problems -- credit to @SputnikAZ, as we were shooting the proverbial breeze about the emergence of goalie Mike Smith and the ownership situation. Their acquisition of Vermette gives them another threat down the middle for the Playoff Push.

The Jackets get Vermette's $3.75M a year extension off the books. Oh... and a goaltender. McElhinney is more than likely not an immediate solution in net, so look for another goaltender to join the Jackets in the next five days, or in the summer.

McElhinney is... ummmmmm, well-traveled. 

Screencap from NHL.com

Yep... the Blue Jackets will be his fifth team in as many years.

It is what it is. The Jackets need to reduce payroll to get done what they need to get done for whatever tweaks or rebuilding lies ahead. Sure, it's a bummer, but that's business.

The Jackets can't be called winners in this deal at this point. No way Scott Howson would have been able to get someone to overpay for Vermette... the numbers just don't match up.

Oh hey... just found out after some of you have read this from Jas Chaffin (@En4cer45) that McElhinney is done for the season after abdominal surgery. More good news.

But hey... we'll see how those draft picks turn out, right?

Vermette will be missed. But I'm sure I'm not the only one wishing him success moving forward.

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