— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) August 15, 2016
Anaheim Ducks Sign Antoine Vermette
The former Arizona Coyotes forward, in his second stint with the Coyotes, was surprisingly placed on waivers by Arizona for the purposes of a buyout on August 1. No team claimed him and his $3.75 million, one-year contract complete with no movement clause, and thus became a free agent on August 2. Vermette was reportedly courted by as many as five teams before signing with the Ducks.
Antoine Vermette has received 5 offers from NHL teams and will be making a decision on the various offers by Monday.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) August 13, 2016
Arizona has a glut of young centers ready for a promotion in Laurent Dauphin, Christian Dvorak, and Dylan Strome. The prospect pipeline and the arrival of new general manager John Chayka were likely driving forces in buying out the veteran centerman.
During his first tenure with the team, the Coyotes sent the St. Agapit, Quebec native to the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2015 trade deadline. Vermette would only record three assists in 19 games with Chicago to conclude the 2014-15 regular season. He would find his game In the Stanley Cup Playoffs with three goals and four assists in 20 games helping the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup. Vermette returned last summer he returned to Arizona as a free agent when he signed a 2-year, $7.5 million deal for a second tour in the Southwest.
The 2015-16 season was a modestly productive effort for Vermette. He scored 17 goals and 21 assists and set a career high with 93 penalty minutes.
Originally drafted 55th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Vermette has appeared in 910 games for the Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Blackhawks and Coyotes. Vermette posted a career year during the 2009-10 campaign with the Blue Jackets with 27 goals and 38 assists while appearing in all 82 games that year. During his career, he has scored 211 goals and 260 assists, with 546 penalty minutes and a pedestrian 49.3 Corsi-for percentage.
In signing Vermette, Ducks fill a short term need at the center ice position. The Ducks have a number of holes in their forward roster and Vermette will slot in immediately. His experience and dependable on-ice presence will help, and likely will sport a small chip on his shoulder, hoping to prove he can still play in the NHL.