The Ottawa Senators have dealt Antoine Vermette to the Blue Jackets for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round draft pick.
The Senators get: an injury-prone goaltender with the potential to be in the top half of the league in terms of talent. However, with a weaker defense in front of him, I can't help but think of the potential of another sort - starts with "B" and rhymes with "rust".
The Blue Jackets get: a disappointing centerman with upside. Vermette's talent level is above that of RJ Umberger and when you look at what the team has done with him you can't help but think that Vermette will get an instant role on the top line. Will he pull through? He doesn't seem to perform well as the main guy - his forte is more of a second-liner. Still, his situation is much better than it was in Ottawa. Much better.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Alex Auld may not be in the mix next season with a Leclaire-Elliott tandem. But with Leclaire's ankle injury you won't see an impact there this campaign. With Vermette gone, Comrie's role increases. A spot also opens up for promising youngster Ilya Zubov, who has had an extremely impressive last 365 days. He is ranked 52 on my prospects list.
Vermette owners should celebrate. Granted, there were better teams out there for him to land on, but in Columbus he will be the No. 1A centerman and get an immediate shot on a line with Nash or Huselius ... or both.