Columbus Blue Jackets Acquire Clark and Jurcina: What Does That Mean for Crunch?

Ryan MaloneyContributor IIDecember 28, 2009

MONTREAL- NOVEMBER 28:  Ryan O'Byrne #3 of the Montreal Canadiens and Chris Clark #17 of the Washington Capitals battle for the puck during the NHL game on November 28, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

A deal was made today between the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets -- and it did not include Nikita Filatov .  Instead, Washington Captain Chris Clark (pictured) and defenseman Milan Jurcina were shipped to Columbus in exchange for forward Jason Chimera.

With two bodies headed to Syracuse's parent club in exchange for one, there is an assumption that the Crunch will be getting an addition to their roster pretty soon.  From Lindsay Kramer :

Who will those trickle down players be? No word yet, but how about some combination of Roy/Picard/Blunden eventually?

I guess in a perfect world Columbus might have picked up a minor-leaguer to help Syracuse right away, but in this instance it's hard to blame the team for trying to douse its own fire first.

The Jackets are not living up to the lofty expectations many had for them coming off their first playoff appearance last season.  They just hit the halfway point of the season (41 games) and have won only 14 times.  They sit in the basement of the Central Division with 35 points, 10 points shy of the final playoff spot in the West.  Injuries have played a role in slowing the progress of the franchise, and that has in turn affected the Crunch .

Syracuse currently has the worst record in the American Hockey League; they've also given up more goals per game than any other team.  Their struggles on defense have been well-documented by Chairman How's Glorious Army all season long, yet not much has been done about it.

If the names on the Syracuse blue line remain the same, the Crunch may miss the playoffs for a second straight season, something that has never happened in the franchise's 16-year history.

In case you were wondering, Clay Wilson's Rochester Americans currently sit atop the Western Conference; hey finished dead least just a season ago.  Jason Williams, the forward whom Scott Howson traded Wilson for, is no longer with Columbus and sits on the injured reserved list for Atlanta with a fractured fibula. 

But hey, at least he helped CBJ to that first-round sweep out of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.