FHL: Sergei's Feeling Blue

The NHL's new salary-cap system will have more of an effect on roster management as time passes, and last Tuesday we saw one of the first such instances, as Sergei Fedorov was traded by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In what essentially amounts to a salary dump, the Ducks shipped Fedorov and the final three years of his five-year, $40-million contract to the Blue Jackets for fantasy nonfactors Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin. Then, in a salary-cap move of their own, the Blue Jackets placed Todd Marchant and the final three years of his five-year, $14.5-million deal on waivers. Ironically enough, after declining being included in the Fedorov deal -- Marchant has a no-trade clause -- the 12-year veteran would up claimed by those same Mighty Ducks on Monday. Hey, at least both teams are happy with the outcome.

Fedorov is the focus here. The six-time All-Star brings Columbus much-needed scoring help; the Blue Jackets rank last in the league, averaging 1.76 goals per game, and are without Rick Nash, a 41-goal scorer in 2003-04, for at least another two weeks due to a knee injury. It could be said that Anaheim really wasn't that patient with Fedorov coming off his groin injury. He's no longer better than a point-per-game performer, but the Blue Jackets will put him in a prominent scoring role, increasing his chances to rebound from his slow start. What'll be most interesting is how Fedorov might fare once Nash heals. If they click, they could both enjoy a fine second half. Marchant, meanwhile, was a 60-point performer in 2002-03, demonstrating that he can be a respectable back-of-your-lineup type in the right role.