Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Columbus Blue Jackets Get Two Draft Picks and a Goalie in Trade with Phoenix: Fan’s Reaction
On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Columbus Blue Jackets began building for the future by trading center Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes for two draft picks. The club also received goaltender Curtis McElhinney in the deal.
Well, I'm not entirely thrilled with the deal. At age 29, McElhinney has appeared in just 69 NHL games. His career record of 19-26-4 with a 3.09 goals-against-average isn't impressive, and I don't see him challenging for playing time in Columbus. Furthermore, McElhinney is inactive at the moment. He's going to stay with the American Hockey League's Portland Pirates while rehabilitating his injury. I think the Blue Jackets could have done a bit better than that. It doesn't make a lot of sense for the team to take on an injured journeyman goalie.
Fortunately, McElhinney isn't the main asset Columbus received in this trade. The Blue Jackets received a second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft from the Coyotes, which originally came from the Ottawa Senators. Based on the current NHL standings, the team will make a selection midway through the second round. If the club is truly making the commitment to re-build, that's a good draft pick to have.
The Blue Jackets also received a conditional fifth round pick for the 2013 Draft, which could become a fourth rounder if Phoenix advances to the second round of the playoffs this season. I think that's a fair deal. I know there are fans who think the Jackets didn't get enough from the Coyotes. I'm not sure I agree with that belief. Yes, Vermette was third on the team in scoring with 27 points in 60 games, but his overall play wasn't setting the world on fire. Vermette was just as inconsistent as the rest of the team. Now the Blue Jackets are looking to the future, and Vermette didn't fit into the Blue Jackets' plans. Trading him is the right move to make if the team is embarking on another youth movement.
I hope he does well in Phoenix. Vermette deserves a chance to succeed. Meanwhile, Blue Jackets fans have to buckle in for yet another rebuilding project. Let's have faith that the club gets it right this time. The people of Columbus have waited too long for a winning franchise.
Derek Ciapala has been following the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets since the team joined the NHL for the 2000-2001 season. You can find him on Twitter @dciapala.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.