Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vermette is Finally a Blue Jacket

The Blue Jackets finally got their guy.  After months of speculating, Antoine Vermette was traded to Columbus for Pascal Leclaire and a second round draft pick in the upcoming draft.

Vermette is a tremendously versatile player, spending most of his time in Ottawa playing the secondary role, and killing penalties.  His defensive abilities are clear when down a man, but has the finesse game and dangling skills of an elite scorer (when he is given the opportunity).  He has scored nine goals this year, which is actually a drop in production based on previous years, but many attribute that to the slump Ottawa is in right now, and expect Vermette to rebound well with a new team.

The likelihood of Antoine becoming a 35 goal scorer is slim, but sometimes players find new life once they have been removed from their first NHL team.  It was a well known fact that Jacques Martin punctured the young forwards confidence early in his career, but it seems like regardless of what is thrown at Vermette, he comes out of it smiling.

One other very important feature about Vermette is his faceoff ability.  In the game Howson attended against Vancouver, Antoine went 14-0 on the draw, winning key faceoffs during penalty kills.  This kind of skill will be tremendously valuable to the Jackets, who had been known to struggle in the draw earlier this season.

Expect Vermette to play the second line for the time being.  As we all know, Hitchcock rarely messes with chemistry, and arguably, the top line has it right now.  According to BlueJacketsXtra, Vermette is going to see time with Umberger and Modin on the second line.  Here's hoping that changes to Umberger and Voracek sooner than later.

Carry the Flag!


  1. I'm so going to miss Passy - but, this trade is probably truly for the best. And maybe Vermette's speed will push Modin to kick it up a notch.

  2. Yes, nothing but best wishes to Leclaire but he was definitely expendable. Too expensive to be a backup and he is not very good unless playing a lot which was not going to happen with Mason. Jackets needed offensive help, PP help and PK help - Vermette does all of those well.

  3. I think Vermette plays to other peoples strengths, so I expect a bit more out of Modin if they are playing together, but frankly, I think Modin isn't fast enough to be on a line with Vermette. He belongs on the speedster line with guys like Voracek..