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Jackets deal Leclaire, draft pick for Vermette @NHLdotcom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -The Columbus Blue Jackets traded goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round pick to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday for center Antoine Vermette.

The 26-year-old Vermette had been pursued by the Blue Jackets for some time. He is seen as their center of the future and will be positioned on the first line between Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius.

The Blue Jackets were eager to make a move to bolster their first playoff push in the franchise's eight seasons.

Leclaire had lost his job to rookie sensation Steve Mason. Leclaire had eight shutouts a year ago while compiling a 24-17-6 record, but he has been sidelined by an ankle injury that required surgery. He is expected to be full-go within a few weeks.

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