COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Antoine Vermette from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, club General Manager Scott Howson announced March 4.
Vermette, 26, has tallied nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points with 42 penalty minutes in 62 games with the Senators this season and currently ranks fifth in the NHL in face-off percentage at 58.4 percent. In 359 career NHL games all with Ottawa, he has registered 80-87-167, 205 penalty minutes, a cumulative plus/minus rating of +11, nine power play goals, 13 shorthanded goals and nine game-winning goals. He has added 4-4-8 and 18 penalty minutes in 38 career playoff games and helped the Senators reach the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals.
The St. Agapit, Quebec native averaged 21 goals, 20 assists and 41 points per season from 2005-08. He recorded 24-29-53, 51 penalty minutes and was +3 in 81 games with the Senators in 2007-08, setting career highs in goals, assists and points. He also ranked sixth in the NHL in face-off percentage at 56.7 percent last year. He collected 19-20-39 and 52 penalty minutes in 77 games in 2006-07 and added 2-3-5 and six penalty minutes in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games. In 2005-06, he notched 21-12-33 and 44 penalty minutes with a career-high +17 plus/minus rating in 82 contests.
Ottawa's third pick, 55th overall, in the 2000 Entry Draft, he played four seasons with Quebec and Victoriaville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1998-02. In 203 games, he notched 96-122-218 and 227 penalty minutes. He racked up 57-62-119 and 102 penalty minutes in 71 games in 2000-01 before missing most of the 2001-02 season due to an injury suffered at Canada's national junior team evaluation camp. He returned to collect 10-16-26 and 10 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games, helping Victoriaville reach the Memorial Cup championship game.
The Blue Jackets return to action Thursday when they visit the Nashville Predators. Face-off at Sommet Center is set for 8 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio will begin with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 7:30 p.m. The game will also broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station WWCD-FM/CD101 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for 2008-09 regular season home games are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. Season tickets for 2009-10 begin at $18 per game and are on sale now. For information on group tickets, 2009-10 season tickets and mini-plans, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.