Vermette set for debut with Columbus

Columbus (32-27-6) at Detroit (43-14-8), 7:00 p.m. EST

DETROIT (Ticker) — Antoine Vermette is expected to make his
debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday when they visit
the Detroit Red Wings.

The center was acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the NHL
trade deadline Wednesday in exchange for goaltender Pascal
Leclaire and a second-round draft pick.

Vermette initially had hoped to join his new teammates for
Thursday’s game at Nashville, but there was a delay in getting
his visa adjusted to allow him to work in the United States.

“It’s frustrating,” Columbus general manager Scott Howson told
the Columbus Dispatch. “We were on top of it. We had our
paperwork in early. We did everything we could. But the system
moves at its own pace, and there’s nothing you can do about it

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It’s anticipated that Vermette, who had nine goals and 28 points
in 62 games with Ottawa this season, will play on the Blue
Jackets’ top line with Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius.

Defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who has missed the last 11 games
with a shoulder injury, also is expected to play for Columbus.

The Red Wings hope to have Marion Hossa back on the ice, but the
right wing still is experiencing some soreness in his neck, back
and knee after crashing headfirst into the boards Tuesday in St.

The four-time All-Star leads Detroit with 34 goals this season.