The last couple of days have seen mentions of the Columbus Blue Jackets looking to bolster their defensive corps. Bruce Garrioch has picked up on this and wondered aloud if the Jackets might be interested in Brian Lee (Ottawa Senators) to replace the injured Rusty Klesla.
As mentioned yesterday, the demand for Brian Lee isn’t likely to be all that significant. He has had trouble establishing himself at the NHL level, going back and forth between Binghamton and Ottawa for the last couple of seasons.
Drafted after a very successful high-school career, Lee put up good numbers at North Dakota, but the offense has been slow to develop at the AHL and NHL levels thus far. That said, he is only 23 and could still develop.
Howson is a very cagey and capable general manager. If he can get Lee for a bargain, the deal could happen. However, he isn’t really in a position to wait and see how Lee develops. The Jackets need someone to step in and contribute right away.
I would suspect he would call the Oilers to inquire about their interest in moving a defenseman, and could also investigate what Carolina has to offer. Don’t rule out Ottawa, but my guess he is that he looks elsewhere.
As a quick note on the Kyle Chipchura deal (from Montreal to Anaheim for a 4th-rounder), I think the move to Anaheim will be beneficial for the struggling forward. Never a big scorer at any level, Chipchura had yet to find the scoresheet this year for the Habs.
The move frees up a roster spot for the Canadiens, who have better options than Chipchura playing in Hamilton. From the Ducks’ perspective, adding the gritty center sends a message to the under-performing club that further changes could be made.
Hopefully a new start in a less hockey-crazy market will give Chipchura a chance to revive a once promising hockey career. The former first rounder should get into the Ducks lineup soon, likely on the 4th line.