Mark Rycroft has been traded. Today, the Avalanche sent Rycroft to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defensemen Darcy Campbell and forward Phillipe Dupuis. Assuming he'll be joining the Jackets' NHL squad, Rycroft will be moving about 150 miles, but will be going from the AHL back to the NHL (how odd is it that Cleveland is the AHL city and Columbus is the NHL city?).
I know nothing about either guy that the Avalanche got, other than the fact that Campbell is a recent free agent signing and that Dupuis was a 4th round draft pick in 2003. No matter their pedigree, I think getting 2 "prospects" for a guy that had virtually no chance of being seen again in an Avalanche uniform is a swell move. I wonder what we'll get for Brad Richardson?
As he's going, I'll share again my favorite Mark Rycroft moment with the Avs:
It’s the first game after the deadline as well as Scott Parker’s debut. The Avs are in Chicago and the Blackhawks score a goal just 1:11 into the game. Coach Quenneville immediately sends out the Parker, and everyone guesses a fight to rally the team is imminent. Sure enough, the puck drops, gloves fly and – what’s this? – it’s Mark Rycroft going to bat, engaging Danny Richmond in an entertaining battle…And, oh yeah, the Avalanche rallied and won the game 6-1
Rycroft wasn't the biggest, fastest or most talented player. But he worked hard every shift he had, and did what it took to win, including dropping the gloves if that's what was needed. He got edged off the roster by guys who had more talent, but I think his work ethic will be something the Blue Jackets will find very useful.