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Gratton Claimed By Columbuis; 2 Sent Down

Posted Feb 21, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Feb 23, 2009 at 02:34 PM

TAMPA - Center Chris Gratton has been claimed off re-entry waivers today by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

By being claimed on re-entry waivers, Columbus - which is making a push to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history - the Blue Jackets are responsible for half of Gratton’s remaining salary while Tampa Bay pays the other half.

Gratton signed a one-year contract for $1.25 million but appeared in only 18 games this season. Supposedly Gratton had a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup, but word is the injury wasn’t serious enough to prevent him from playing before the team sent him down to AHL Norfolk.

In addition, the team has sent down defenseman Ty Wishart and right wing Steve Downie.

Wishart was up on an emergency basis, so that means either Marek Malik and/or Lukas Krajicek are ready to play after suffering from injuries or something else is on the horizon.

The players just showed up on the ice, 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Mike McKenna showed up wearing new matching pads and helmet, although the helmet is all black with a design. McKenna had been playing with his Norfolk pads and helmet since he’s been up with the big club.

As the players assemble onto the ice, Krajicek is not skating, so I would guess that means Malik is ready to play, or somebody else is coming this way.

Lines look like this:

Ryan Malone-Vinny Lecavalier-Marty St. Louis

Matt Pettinger-Jeff Halpern-Evgeny Artyukhin

Gary Roberts-Vinny Prospal-Steven Stamkos

Adam Hall-Ryan Craig-Mark Recchi

Reader Comments

Por (TampaRob) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Losing Gratts sucks because he’s another grit & guts guy that competes every nite and can put in the odd goal now & then.. I liken him to a better younger Gary Roberts.. this team is in such disarray: AHL ham & eggers and trade bait throughout the lineup.. injuries have really shown the lack of depth.. can’t imagine how frustrating it is to be a player or coach for TBL right now.. I do know how frustrating it is to be a fan.

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Por (Brittany) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Don’t really understand the reason they sent Downie down. Any reasoning behind that Erik? I thought that he played well while he was up here, he and Stamkos were starting to get some good chemistry while they were playing together (until they got broken up). Are they bringing Chewy up or something and just needed to make room?

Good luck to Grats in Columbus. They have become my underdog team to root for this season and I hope they are able to keep it going and make it into the playoffs.

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Por (Ruthe) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Good for Gratton going to a contender. The Jackets are fun to watch. What a let down this season turned out to be. The truth is we never put a very good team on the ice, but at least they could have played with more heart and effort. Seems like Marty was the only player to consistently put forth a good effort night after night. Hopefully, Koules, Barrie and Lawton have learned by their many mistakes and will give us a better team next year. If it includes trading Vinny, so be it! We need to start rebuilding now.
We’ll have the goaltending, let’s build around it. Get some young, enthusiastic players here.

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Por (Leanmean43) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Why are you guys constantly ripping on Vinny.  He obviously is still recovering from the shoulder surgery.  What do you want him to do?  He stood up for Marty the other night when he got boarded, and he stood up for Ramo when he got run over. He’s not scoring like normal but they can be attributed his sore shoulder and lack of a puck moving defensemen to get the forwards the puck.  VINNY STAYS!!!

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Por (Victor E. Victor) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

As Downie is on a two-way contract, this is probably a money saving move by the clowns “running” this circus. Same goes for offering Grats on re-entry. Can Lundin be far behind?

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Por (TampaRob) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I personally can’t see any team trading for V4 because he has such a long term expensive contract.. and supposedly he wants to stay.. but you never know.. IMHO: one thing that’s hurt V4 more than we realize is Brad’s trade to Dallas.. speaking of which: Richie is out for the season and the Stars need a top line center replacement.. hmmm? could the 2 amigos skate together again next season? you never know.

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Por (Bolt Fan) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Downie has been a hard worker and pretty effective, so he is rewarded by being sent down.  That’s really a bright move.  These guys aren’t interested in building for the future or they would keep Downie and let he and Stamkos continue to bond an strengthen their play.

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Por (Gary Meleski) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Leanmean43: I’ve worked construction all my adult life (made good money too) At age 50, (3 years ago) I fell off a ladder and broke my wrist. I went to a specialist who wanted to operate. I had no insurance and told him it was out of the question, I had a living to make. He then suggested a tight wrapping every day (which I did). I went RIGHT BACK TO WORK a few days later, in extreme pain. After a month or so, it improved 100%. After 6 months, my wrist was pretty much like it was never broken. It is 100% and I feel no effects at all. My point. This crap about V4 still recovering after almost a year from a professionally performed surgery and rehab and in his 20’s is a large pile of horse****. Lately, he just shows up when he wants to.

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Por (JK) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

You’re wrong Gar’, sorry, you tear your labrum in your shoulder and go back into the gladiator pit they call the NHL and see how you do. You haven’t a clue, glad your wrist is better, hang a board..frame a wall..pour a slab for me.

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Por (Gary Meleski) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Sorry JK, don’t want to make this personal but you force my hand. V4—28 years old. Full support staff. Full rehab unit including top of the line euipment. FULLY padded from head to toe (I played hockey when I was a young man in High School). Myself, 53, no support, no rehab, nothing… back to work within the next few days. these tough young guys have to STOP acting like wusses and STOP blaming their mediocre seasons on a an injury that is not a careeer ender. Sorry, I Hate to see these young bucks act like wimps. Man Up. V4 is way too good for that.

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Por (Bolt Fan) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Gary, I agree with you about getting out there and hustling.  There are players who have played on broken ankles and not stopped playing, and that’s a lot tougher to work around.  If Vinny is that hurt, why aren’t they putting him on IR?  The season is over (all but the final accounting) and they have put down much lesser players for the rest of the year.

The only player who has put all out, all year, in every shift has been Marty,  and I’m sure that he’s had to deal with injuries along the way.  Injuries, and playing hurt are a part of hockey.

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Por (susan herring) on February 21, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I am really mad that the got rid of chris gratton. He played his heart out when he was here. He was one of my favorite players on the team. Since we already have several players out you would think they would keep it but he just got the shaft. At least now he will get to play on a team that wanted him. good luck grats.

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Por (TampaRob) on February 22, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Susan.. I don’t think they got “rid” of Gratts.. he was claimed by the CBJ’s on a re-entry waiver.. in other words TBL wanted him back in the lineup but he got scooped up because of the way his contract was structured.

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Por (Mitchell Margolis) on February 22, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Good for Gratton to go to columbus, but i never really thought he could play anymore after i saw him the first part of the season.  He just can’t do enough for a good team.

Oh and a torn labrum is a lot different than a broken wrist.
I agree that vinny is still not 100% but i know that he is not playing hard.
He looks like he just wants to skate around, do some crazy moves, and pass it to marty.  He just looks like he doesn’t have anything to play for and he really doesn’t.  No playoffs, contract in his pocket. Next year he will be back and motivated.

Oh and downie was just sent down because the team wants him to play 20 minutes a game to get better, he will be back up after the trading deadline.

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