Leclaire, Vermette Involved In First Deadline Day Trade

Scott SnyderContributor IMarch 4, 2009

The first trade of Deadline Day 2009 has occured.  

Just before 10 a.m. this morning, the Ottawa Senators got their man for the net and Columbus picked up that forward they were looking for. 

The Senators have picked up goaltender Pascal Leclaire from the Blue Jackets, and in return, sent forward Antoine Vermette to Columbus.

I'm not sure whether we'll see Leclaire actually suit up for Ottawa this year as he has some injury problems.  His injuries had left the door wide open for rookie goalie Steve Mason to take the reigns as the No. 1 goaltender in Columbus, where the Jackets sit in sixth place in the West.

In Columbus, expect Vermette to be a top-six forward, especially with the injury to Michael Peca.  I don't think Columbus is done for the day, though, as GM Scott Howson might seek another forward or depth defenseman.  

The winner here? I would have to go with Ottawa.  Since the Lalime days—yes, Sabres fans, he used to be good—Ottawa has struggled to put a true No. 1 goaltender in net.  The closest they got was Ray Emery and look where he is now.  Plus, the scale has really shifted in Ottawa's favor because they also suckered Columbus into sending them a second round draft pick.

Ottawa needed a goalie more than Columbus needed a forward, especially a guy like Vermette, who was a 50-plus point guy in the past, but now only has 28 points in 61 games in 2008-2009.  

Check in later for more.