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Done Deal: Jurcina and Clark for Chimera

UPDATE (3:53PM)

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Jackets have acquired Milan Jurcina and right wing Chris Clark from the Washington Capitals. The CBJ  have sent left winger Jason Chimera the other way. Still awaiting  conformation from the team.

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It’s no secret Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson is looking to make some changes in the locker room. He wants to add a defenseman with Rostislav Klesla sidelined until after the Olympic break. But now things are starting to materialize and it is quite likely the the CBJ could make a move within the next 24 hours.

The team the Jackets have been linked with the most is Washington. The names being tossed around are a trio of Caps blueliners: Shaone Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina and Karl Alzner. Morrisonn and Jurcina both have good size and are relatively sound in the defensive end. Jurcina owns a big right-handed shot, but is a less than average skater and is prone to mistakes. He’s not going to solve many problems for the Union Blueline. Morrisonn offers similar size and has spent time paired with Mike Green, no small task because Green’s defensive lapses are well documented. Morrisonn has good mobility for his 6’4″ 215lb frame. He’s never finished a season in the NHL with a minus rating but right now in 0-3-3 in 28 games with a plus/minus of -1.

Karl Alzner is a wildcard. The 5th overall pick in 2007, Alzner is not the sort of player general managers like to move. He’s got good size at 6′ 2″ and is a very good skater. In 10 NHL games this season Alzner is 0-4-4 with a +2 rating. In 40 career NHL games the former Bill Hunter winner (WHL’s top defenseman) is 1-8-9 with a +1. He’s got a lot of potential and would require a good package going the other way. To make things even more interesting, Alzner has been scratched from the Caps lineup for tonight’s game.

The players the Blue Jackets are rumored to be sending the other way include Jason Chimera, Raffi Torres and Nikita Filatov. Obviously Alzner would not be coming for the likes of Chimera or Torres, so in likelihood, if a deal is done it will be Morrisonn or Jurcina coming the other way. Washington is in need of checking line wingers and that’s one thing the Blue Jackets have an abundance of. While the CBJ management would prefer to move Chimera, who’s do $1.87 million a year for the next three seasons, Torres is more attractive as a player and his contract is up at the end of the year.

Washington is rumored to be interested in Filatov. The skilled Russian would likely thrive in the nation’s Capital with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin. , Washington GM George McPhee may be even more interesting in adding Filatov after  Semin declined a long-term extension in favor of a one-year deal. Most people’s money is on Semin hitting the market come the Summer of 2011. That being said, with all of Filatov’s baggage, he probably would need to be paired with another player to bring the likes of Alzner to Ohio’s Capital.

Also, Toronto is rumored to possibly joining the deal making it a 3-way. This could be very interesting. The name thrown most around in Toronto is Tomas Kaberle. However, the skilled defenseman has a no-trade clause he must waive in order for Brian Burke to move him. He’s also at an all-time high in value and would likely not accept a trade to Columbus and I can’t see the Jackets sending to king’s ransom to Toronto for Washington to pick up Kaberle, even if Alzner and Morrisonn/Jurcina came back this way. Regardless, it looks like a deal could get done soon.

UPDATE (3:08PM)

The Leafs are rumored to be out of the deal, if they were ever really in it. The Ottawa Senators are rumored to have joined negotiations but it’s not clear if they would be part of a 3-team deal or a separate deal with the Jackets. The Senators GM Bryan Murray is rumored to be a big fan of Filatov. It’s no secret that Scott Howson covets defensive prospect Brian Lee. We’ll keep you posted.

-Bart Logan

bartftc@gmail.com

Twitter: BartFTC

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