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Goaltending Shuffle Continues in Columbus Written by habsfan93 - January 24th, 2011

Today's loss was the final straw for Blue Jackets GM habsfan93.

Although Jon Quick played reasonably well in the 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago, his play in the last 1-2 weeks has been generally abysmal. Quick was brought in as an upgrade over the struggling Henrik Lundqvist, but he only brought more of the same.

So after today's game, GM habsfan93 announced a string of moves, starting with the trading of Jon Quick, John-Michael Liles and Maxime Talbot to the Vancouver Canucks for Ryan Miller, Jay McClement and Dmitri Kulikov.

Much like Quick, Miller has struggled this year and seen his playing time drastically cut in favor of Brian Elliott in Vancouver. The Jackets are hoping that a change of scenery will bring out the Ryan Miller than won 39 games last year and earned an appearance at the Season 6 All-Star Game.

'We're gonna give Ryan Miller every opportunity he wants between now and the end of the season. We have 38 games left, and we expect Miller to start as many as 35 of them. The goal in Columbus has not changed - win the Central Division. Jon Quick was not helping us do that. He was holding us back.' - GM habsfan93

The other players involved in the deal were clearly included to keep the team under the salary cap, as Miller's salary for this season will be nearly double Quick's. John-Michael Liles, who had been relegated to mostly 3rd pairing duty this season thanks to the emergence of Kris Russell on the blueline, was shipped out along with his $2,000,000 salary. The Jackets did not get an experienced defenceman back, but announced later in the conference that they had signed veteran free agent defenceman Rob Scuderi to a $1,000,000 deal for the remainder of the season.

Dmitri Kulikov comes to Columbus and adds to their incredible depth at the defence position. Kulikov is not expected to see any action at the pro level this year, but is expected to be given every opportunity to earn a full-time pro roster spot in Season 8.

In other deals, the Jackets traded MODO's backup goaltender, Peter Mannino, to the New York Islanders for a 5th round draft pick. Mannino, signed as a free agent this past summer, lost the starter's job early on in the year to Jhonas Enroth as was never able to recover it. John Curry is expected to back up Enroth for the remainder of the year.

And finally, the Jackets moved a pair of prospects, Mitch Wahl and Nick Larsen, to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a pair of 5th rounders in 2012. Both Wahl and Larsen had to be signed this summer, and with the Jackets roster nearing the player cap, they were clearly victims of the numbers game.

The Jackets head back to Columbus Tuesday, where they will host the Washington Capitals. Ryan Miller is expected to get the start, and both McClement and Scuderi figure to be in the lineup, while Kulikov is expected to suit up for MODO.

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