Friday, February 20, 2009

Vermette Should be a Priority

It may seem like a broken record after this concept was first addressed over a month ago, but I believe it is time to really reconsider how valuable Vermette would be to the Jackets roster.

1 - He is a strong skater who rarely takes a night off.  There are a lot of players on the Jackets roster that like to float at times during a game, and Vermette would not be one of them.  He would fit very well between guys like Voracek and Chimera, who are always flying when on the ice.  The other possibility would be having him playing with Williams and Umberger on the second line.  Because the pairing of Chimera and Voracek has been so versatile this year, the Jackets could easily run three lines at almost the same level of ice time.

2 - He is a faceoff monster.  He and Malhotra are atop the league leaders in faceoff percentage, and that is something that Columbus needs to work on.  While Peca and Umberger are decent on the draw, having another big time faceoff man could pay heavy dividends in the late going of the season, when every possession counts.

3 - He is a penalty killer.  These players are becoming few and far between in the NHL, and having yet another guy who can get out on the ice and stymy powerplays is yet another way to really bolster their roster.

4 - He can really dangle.  While his finishing touch still needs work, his tenacity around the puck, and his control with the puck are really something the Jackets could use in the neutral zone and around the boards.  This could also translate well on the second powerplay unit, which is something Vermette is no stranger to.

These are only a couple reasons why he would be worth obtaining, especially if Ottawa starts considering themselves out of the playoff race.  What are your thoughts?


  1. I dn't know if he's old enough for Hitchcock's tastes.

  2. You watch Ottawa a lot more than I do, so I'll defer to your assessment of Vermette. I just know that earlier this year, when we saw Ottawa play at Columbus, I was not impressed with Vermette or any of the Senators (even Spezza). It looked like they had mailed it in already. But there's no question we need a better center for our top line than Malhotra.

  3. For the record, I'd take Vermette over Spezza. That being said, when Ottawa was in Columbus this year, their entire team was flat, and their intensity was slim to nil. Vermette however, feeds off both himself and his teammates. If he does make it into a Blue Jackets jersey, he'll be one of the most intense players on the ice, and Hitch will treat him just like he does Chimera or Voracek.