Ohhh now, that headline wasn’t very fair. Let me clarify:

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded Antoine Vermette – a very good defensive center with three additional years left on a deal worth an annual 3.75 million dollar cap hit – to the Phoenix Coyotes for a 2nd round pick, a 5th, and minor league tender Curtis McElhinney (who between you, me, and the internet, isn’t all that good).

Coyotes GM Don Maloney operates under an agreed upon budget that the NHL has allotted him until the team is sold, and he’s free to do what he pleases from there. (Given the Coyotes success with relative “no-name” players, can you imagine what he thinks of other GMs that spend to the cap and lose? I bet he thinks “Boy, I should really try to trade with them.”)

With the likelihood of prospects panning out, and the time it takes to develop them, I award Maloney the gold star below for winning the trade. Vermette should be a perfect fit with the already stingy Coyotes.

Yeah, I’d say that was big enough.

If you care about things like advanced stats, Vermette has been very unlucky this year (PDO of 952), and hasn’t got the bounces (his shooting percentage is far below where it’s usually at).

As for Columbus, I’m not sure what the plan is here. Those picks are years away from helping a team who desperately needs it now. And as Wyshynski joked on twitter:

He’s kidding around, but man…it’s gonna be awkward if the home fans don’t have A player  to vote in, even with their bias.

As the trade market starts to become more active, there’s something I want to point you guys towards: this time of year, it can be tough to keep track of the exact details of every move.

It’s not to hard to remember the notable names, but from now until Tuesday, a lot of small parts will move too.

theScore has created their Trade Tracker here, which I suggest you bookmark immediately. Anytime you’d like to know what’s going on or if you missed anything, feel free to give it a click. It’s updated as things happen, so you should never miss a beat.

So, on to the next one Mr. Howson. Jeff Carter to the Leafs for more picks and goalies?

Comments (3)

  1. On the plus side, Columbus now has two #1 goalies…

  2. I’m going to make a bold, but not really that bold, prediction. Columbus will not trade Rick Nash before the trade deadline.

    Not because deals won’t be there; not because Howson doesn’t want to.

    They won’t trade him because Howson is about to be fired.

    Columbus has a decent ownership situation that is committed to keeping the team in Columbus. They play in a division with Detroit and Chicago, which is probably the second best case scenario (short of playing in a division with Pittsburgh) as they have two great teams to build rivalries against that are original six teams.

    The owners are willing to spend a fairly high amount (spending almost $62 million this year) and yet the GM’s best moves are signing a fellatio miming expert and R.J. Umburger.

    Seriously – look at what Howson has done in terms of bringing in free agents: His record is spotty. Check hockey-reference.com under the draft section and start looking at his first and second round choices from 2003 on. Then look at the guys he passed over. (Speaking of which – Nashville drafted Ryan Suter and Shea Weber in the same draft. 2003. Suter was a first rounder and Weber was a second rounder). But ultimately, the GM is taking advice from his scouting team. It may be a reflection on the GM’s ability to get good scouts but not decision-making. GM’s don’t have time to assess thousands of prospects each year – hence scouting teams.

    As for trades, those come out of necessity more than anything else sometimes, especially with a salary cap. How many guys have we seen traded because of their cap hits more than anything – speaking of which, has anyone seen Kris Versteeg lately? Is he filming a music video with P. Diddy?

    I don’t understand why media critics don’t use free agent signings as a gauge of a GM’s success/failure. Of course location doesn’t hurt but the players you build around is also important. People often focus on drafting and trades as equal parts but I believe that is a poor way of determining success.

    Rick Nash is a great hockey player, yet they couldn’t build around him. Columbus drafted him and kept him signed for quite a while, but in that period of time they have done very little to show him that they are committed to building a good team around him.

    As for Maloney…

    JTB – I worry about him being like Darcy Regier: an ownership situation that has a self-imposed budget and doing his best to manage that budget. Then when a new owner with deep pockets shows up, he kinda blows his wad on hamburger rather than waiting for a nice juicy filet. He’s definitely a great GM at managing a tight budget and Dave Tippett should be the coach of the year every time that team makes the playoffs.

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