The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded center Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes for two draft picks and goaltender Curtis McElhinney.
The deal, announced on Wednesday by Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson, would give Columbus a second-round pick in the 2012 draft and a fifth-round pick in 2013. The fifth-round pick will become a fourth rounder if the Coyotes make the playoffs this season and win their first-round series.
The Blue Jackets, with the worst record in the NHL, have been trolling for trade partners for the past few weeks. Rumors have been flying about the club dealing captain Rick Nash or high-priced center Jeff Carter. Instead, for now, the Blue Jackets dealt Vermette, who has eight goals and 19 assists in 60 games this season.
McElhinney's acquisition could open the door to the team trading goalie Curtis Sanford, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He is recovering from a back injury. The Blue Jackets also have former Calder Trophy goalie ...