The Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets decided to beat the “holiday” rush and kicked off Trade Deadline 2009 in a one-for-one swap that addresses needs for both teams.

The Blue Jackets sent goaltender Pascal Leclaire to the Senators in exchange for center/winger Antoine Vermette.

Vermette fills a need at center for Columbus replacing the injured Derick Brassard. Leclaire, who lost his job to rookie sensation Steve mason, appears to be the answer for Ottawa’s struggles in goal.

Both Leclaire and Vermette were coming off carrer seasons in 2007/2008. Leclaire, the 8th player selected in 2001 NHL Draft, posted a 24-17-6 record with nine shutouts and a GAA of 2.25 and a SV% of .919. Vermette, the 55th overall pick (2nd round) in 2000, set career highs with his 24 goals, 29 assists and 53 points (in 81 games).

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