Vermette a Blue Jacket

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

The immediacy of today's world is such that quite often players do not find out they've been traded the way both they and the team would like them to find out.

Antoine Vermette learned that yesterday morning at Scotiabank Place.

"I was on the treatment table and I was hearing my name (on TV) ... they kept talking about a trade that happened," said the 26-year-old former second-round pick. "I just kind of felt in the room the guys were a little quiet. I asked if I just got dealt, and nobody really answered or looked at me. That's the way I found out, and then a little after I saw (GM) Bryan (Murray)."

The speedy Vermette finishes his career in Ottawa with 80 goals and 87 assists in 359 games after he was dealt to Columbus for goalie Pascal Leclaire and a second- round draft pick.

A star at the team's skills contest every season, he was viewed by the team as an underacheiver. Vermette's best season was 2007-08, when he had 24 goals and 29 assists. In the Senators room, meanwhile, he was viewed as a popular player. While they all understand the business, the looks on the faces of Chris Kelly and Jason Spezza made it clear they were shaken by the trading of Vermette.

"He sure was," captain Daniel Alfredsson said when asked about his "good friend's" popularity. "It's typical, too, because he just bought a house, we had the Super Bowl party there this year. It is hard, but we know the situation we're in. I think for him going to Columbus, a team fighting for a playoff spot that's never been in the playoffs ... I think he can bring a lot of experience, and with his skill, he'll definitely help that team."

"It's not an easy thing," said Vermette, whose eyes watered when he did interviews in French. "It doesn't matter how many times your name has been in the rumours the last couple of years. It doesn't make you 100% prepared for that kind of situation. It's tough. You've got to see the guys, say hi, but at the same time there's so many things going on. You're a little overwhelmed."

"I look forward to joining these guys," he added of the Blue Jackets, "even though at the same time you're leaving a team that drafted me, I grew up with a lot of guys in this organization. I'm going to miss Ottawa. I feel like it's part of my home here."


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