Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vermette Traded - Kuba Resigns

First news of the day:

Antoine Vermette is traded to Columbus for goalie Pascal Leclaire and a 2nd round pick.

My take:

This is a bit of a jaw-dropper only because I never thought Murray would actually part with the speedy Vermette, despite his struggles to turn into a regular scorer.

On the one hand, it's tough to see Vermette and his speed leave town but you have to like Murray's aggressiveness in going after a number one goalie. This plugs one huge hole because Leclaire is only 26 and has the potential to be a great goalie despite his problems with injuries.

If Murray can find a way to re-sign Mike Comrie, he has essentially replaced Vermette with a more consistent scorer yet loses something on the penalty kill. Luckily they still have players like Chris Kelly, Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson to continue in that important role.

Leclaire was one of the league's best goalies last year under Ken Hitchcock in Columbus and will get a chance to play here with both Brian Elliott and Alex Auld struggling. He also comes with a cap hit just under 4 million for the next two years, an ideal number for a number one goalie with a lot of potential.

The second round pick is also a great pickup for Murray. Good move.


Also, Filip Kuba has resigned in Ottawa (3 years at 3.75 million per year).

My take:

This is a great contract for Ottawa. I'm not the biggest Kuba fan but those are reasonable numbers for a guy who can play a lot of minutes and provide some offense. I don't think Kuba is the answer for Ottawa's defense woes but there may not be a better option for Murray this summer in free-agency. There is no guarantee Murray can grab a superstar like Jay Bouwmeester so Kuba is a good stop-gap measure for this team.

So far, Murray looks good today.

Now we wait for word on Chris Neil, Christoph Schubert and possibly others.

More updates to follow….


DP@WFNY said...

Jackets fan here:
If he can shake the injury issues, you’ll love LeClaire. He can be a #1 goalie when healthy. He’s athletic from post-to-post, though not large in physical stature. He led the league in shutouts last season, anyway.

I’m thinking Vermette will help us, though I wonder if he’s not being a bit over-valued by our GM. My look at the trade from a Jackets’ perspective is here:

Stop by and let us know what you think as a Sens fan!

Anonymous said...

Jeremy .. given Leclaire history with injury and his being sounding too "gerberesque" .. BM has overpayed ??

Jalen said...


I'm not with you on the Kuba signing. I like him, but not as part of this defence corps.

At $3.7M, Kuba has to play in our top 4 along with Phillips & Volchi. Haven't we already seen how that's worked? Our defence group has been awful this year and I don't see how it can be fixed with Kuba in the top 4. Will Campoli make that big a difference over a full season? Will Lee turn into a stud? I just don't see how the group will be better with Kuba playing in the top 4.

Unless BM has another move planned. Here's hoping.

- Jalen

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, you're smokin' crack on this one, in my opinion.

He overpaid for Campoli, and now he overpaid for Leclaire.

Columbus was in a bind because they had a backup with a $3.8M ticket. On top of that, it's a backup that is coming off injury, and someone who likely will not play until next year.

That is a tough player to move. I think that most teams would have been hesitant to take on his salary until they had a chance to see him in action after injury. I think that Leclaire was likely headed for the waiver wire at the beginning of next season.

I think Murray could have gotten more for Vermette. But, I would not have traded Vermette.

The whole team is having a down year, and don't think Vermette is the issue. I still like what he brings. He is very versatile. I would take Vermette over Comrie any day.

We do need a #1 goalie, but I don't think he'll be the answer. He had great success under Hitchcock's ultra-conservative defensive system. Our team is not structured that way. But, we'll see.

As far as Kuba, it's a fair contract, but a bad move. Kuba is now our #1 guy. Is be a bonafide #1? Not in my books. In my opinion, there was no room for Kuba on this team. He should have been traded for a pick.

Murray has taken on $3.7M for Kuba and an extra $1.2M in the Vermette deal. That $4.9M plus a little extra, could have landed us a top-tier d-man.

I think overall, Murray has hanstrung the team for the next two years. We've taken on some big commitments. If Murray keeps his job, he has just paved the road for Spezza to be traded.

When Volchenkov needs a new contract next year, and the cap looks like it will be going down, Murray can create a storyline that says, Spezz or Volch?

Anonymous said...

Dude above me, are you fucked?

Vermette, at his price tag next year and with this year's performance under his belt? we're lucky to have gotten that 2nd round pick, let alone a TOP ECHELON GOALIE LOCKED UP FOR 2 YEARS.

And no, he is NOT Gerber pt. 2.

Andrew said...

Top Echelon goalie? What's that based on? The amount of shutouts he had last year? He's never made the playoffs and he's never won more than 24 games in his career (his one full season as a starter). But he's got huuuuuge upside, right?

Canucnik said...


It doesn't matter if Leclaire is George Vezina, with Kuba leading our over aged and overpaid D-corps, insuring there is no money or Cap room for the "messiah" and Chris Neil taking untold stupid penalties trying to protect Pascal we have the makings of another 28th place finish next year.

This "one" transaction on TDD is unacceptable....I cannot believe this horse sh*t inactivity. Tim Murray, I'm blaiming you. There should have been at least four guys on the move today. You get 33/100.....That's failure "F"....Unsatisfactory!!

Bad teams don't solve their problems they cover them up!!

Bad teams eat their young!!

Thanks Pierre,you f%^&*&^g dink, putting the hex on us and Leclair. Who needs you, you dork!

Bad teams don't know they are bad so they keep blaiming their goalie!!

Bad teams usually have a poor General Manager!!

Bad teams often over pay for mediocrity!!

Bad teams propaganda departments make me sick!! They make you embarassed to be a fan!! Interest in the old cowboy give me a break...Fire that Department Head!!