Methot fits bill for Sens

Edmonton Oilers' Anton Lander (R) fights for the puck with Columbus Blue Jackets' Marc Methot...

Edmonton Oilers' Anton Lander (R) fights for the puck with Columbus Blue Jackets' Marc Methot during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio January 17, 2012. (REUTERS)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

OTTAWA - Senators GM Bryan Murray swung a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday, but it wasn’t the much-anticipated blockbuster for disgruntled winger Rick Nash.

While the Senators made a huge offer, Murray was informed by Jackets counterpart Scott Howson the Senators aren’t on Nash’s list of destinations.

Instead, the club sent winger Nick Foligno to Columbus for defenceman Marc Methot.

Sources say Foligno was part of a package offered for Nash — that included top prospect Mika Zibanejad and goalie Robin Lehner — but Murray confirmed the Senators are out of the running for Nash because he won’t come here.

Sources say Nash is trying to engineer a trade to either the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks or the Toronto Maple Leafs. At this point, Nash won’t budge on his list of clubs.

“I would say we’re out of the talks (for Nash), yes,” said Murray. “Basically, we weren’t on the list. It never changed as far as I know. There was no sense in chasing it. We just didn’t feel it was necessary.”

While all eyes were on the NHL’s free-agent market, Murray’s biggest move was sending the 24-year-old Foligno packing for Methot, an Ottawa native who has three years left on his contract at a total cap hit of $3 million.

The Senators had to get blueline help after Filip Kuba (Florida) and Matt Carkner (N.Y. Islanders) found new homes, while Matt Gilroy was allowed to test the market.

The Jackets were looking for a young forward who can help add some scoring.

A restricted free agent, Foligno had a career-high 47 points last season, including 15 goals.

After signing winger Guillaume Latrendresse as a UFA, Murray wasn’t sure there was going to be room for Foligno among the forwards.

“I traded away Nick because they asked for him in this particular trade,” said Murray. “We knew we had to address our defensive corps. We lost three guys in that area, or went by three guys.

“We felt that getting a quality guy (in Methot) that everybody in our organization thought a lot of ... He’s a big guy, he’s a local guy, he plays really good defence and he’s very happy to get on board with us. There’s a price to be paid when you have to do something like that.”

Methot, 27, couldn’t hide his excitement.

“I grew up in this city. It’s a hockey town and it’s got a great hockey squad here,” said Methot. “I’m excited and I know family is pretty pumped about it to. So we’re going to enjoy it. It’s an unbelievable opportunity.”

Where Methot is going to fit in should be interesting.

You’d have to think he’d get the chance to take some of the ice time left vacant by Kuba’s departure. Kuba spent most of last season with Erik Karlsson and was plus-26.

The Senators have been interested in Methot for a while. They tried to acquire him last season but couldn’t get a deal done. He’ll be a nice fit on the blueline that’s going to have a much different look if the season starts in September.

“Size, strength and a defensive defenceman,” is how Murray described the 6-foot-4, 225-lb. Methot. “He’s willing to play physical. He’s fairly mobile. His history is he’s not a point-getter (seven in 46 games last season). He’s a really steady guy.

“He’s going to be a guy that could fit in with a Karlsson, (top pick Cody) Ceci, or one of those offensive-type defencemen in the future.”

RATING THE TRADE

Sportsnet analyst, former Columbus GM Doug MacLean says:

“I like Methot. He’s a great skater with great mobility. He’s a big body. He can play against the other team’s better players. He’s a good fit for them. I really do. There’s always been some questions about Nick Foligno. I like Foligno but I think he needs good players with him. I’m not sure he’s going to have that support in Columbus. It’s going to be tough for him.”

MacLean’s rating: A thumbs up. “You can’t find 6-foot-4 defencemen every day, plus I drafted him.”

 

 


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