Jackets and Hurricanes talking trade?
The Columbus Blue Jackets clearly need help on the back end and there’s talk of a deal sending Antoine Vermette to the Carolina Hurricanes for Bryan Allen. Meanwhile, centre Derick Brassard, the Jackets’ first pick in the 2006 draft, is a healthy scratch. He is definitely available, but at $3.3 million this year and $3.7 million next season, he’s too expensive. He should be taking over games at 24, but doesn’t have enough competitive fire. Has any team swung and missed more with their first-rounders — Nikita Filatov, Gilbert Brule, Nikolai Zherdev, Pascal Leclaire, Brassard — all going in the top eight? If you’re wondering how bad the Jackets are, they’ve won six of their last 40 games.
The Chicago Blackhawks are eating former Florida Panthers first-rounder Rostislav Olesz’s $3 million on their farm team in Rockford after there were no takers when he was on waivers. The truth is, they didn’t want Olesz, the seventh overall pick in 2004, but had to take his contract when Florida general manager Dale Tallon took Brian Campbell’s $7.1-million salary off their hands, allowing them to play Nick Leddy at $900,000, instead. Leddy went to the Hawks from the Minnesota Wild for Cam Barker.