Friday, January 9, 2009

The Rumour Mill: Dancing with Columbus

According to the Ottawa Sun, the Columbus Blue Jackets had two scouts at the Sens game in Boston last night. It's no secret that Columbus brass are desperate to make the playoffs (for the first time in franchise history), and it's similarly no secret that just about everyone on the Senators' roster is available for trade. Ottawa players might not have very high market values right now, but a change of scenery can sometimes shock a player into producing.

According to The Fourth Period, Columbus may be shopping for a first-line forward, a third-line forward, and a puck-moving defenceman. Ottawa's first-line forwards are unlikely to be dealt, and we're more desperate for a puck-mover, but there is no shortage of third-line forwards available right now. Antoine Vermette might be a good fit for Columbus' first or fourth line, but it's unclear what the Jackets might be offering in return. They are shopping first-round choices, but The Fourth Period cites the Columbus Dispatch in suggesting that Columbus is reluctant to dish off a first-round choice.

At this point, with GM Bryan Murray apparently looking at waiving some players to give them away for free and to make some cap relief, even a lower-round draft choice is pretty appealing. Still, if the Sens can turn some of their failed assets into a third first-round pick for 2009 (they've already got their own and that of the San Jose Sharks), the re-building process will be well on its way. It seems pretty obvious, though, that the Sens aren't going to be able to solve their problems in time to salvage this season, so all eyes are on the future.
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