Report: It’s a “virtual lock” the Coyotes trade Antoine Vermette

The Arizona Coyotes are slipping further and further out of the playoff picture and that has fans and analysts wondering what the club will do when it comes to rebuilding for the future. One of the names you’ve probably seen discussed is Antoine Vermette and it’s appearing more likely that he’ll be dealt in the near future.

Elliotte Friedman visited Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 and discussed the likelihood that Vermette will be traded to a new team. In summary, the odds are good.

Here are his comments via Nichols on Hockey:

“I’ve said this before, and I think he’s going to get traded. I think it’s like a virtual lock. I just think the question becomes what happens with some of their other guys. But I do still think Vermette is going to get dealt, yes.

The one thing I do believe is that the smart thing for the Coyotes to do is to start rebuilding. They did it with mirrors for years. Maloney and Tippett did an unbelievable job. They don’t have good, young offensive players. And in this league – you talked about the Islanders early, what do they have? They have a lot of good, young offensive players.

They need to restock with that. They’ve got Max Domi, who’s having a real good world juniors, but they need more. And I think with Vermette and with Yandle, they’re going to have the opportunity to do that and I think that’s going to be what they do.”

It’s rare you hear an analyst such as Friedman speak with such certainty. Usually trades are discussed in vague possibilities, but here Friedman says that a deal is a virtual lock, or, almost a guarantee. There’s a margin there for error, but it may be a safe bet that we’ll see Vermette on a new team this season.

For the Coyotes, a Vermette trade simply makes a lot of sense. At 32, Vermette is in the final year of his current contract with the Coyotes and an extension would probably be a little too expensive. Vermette is owed $3.75 million in 2014-15 and would probably command a slightly higher salary beyond the current season. Of course, should the Coyotes decide that he isn’t in their long-term plans, it makes the most sense to trade him now to a contender and receive some sort of return on their player before he has the chance to become an unrestricted free agent.

Which teams might come calling? The list of interested clubs is probably pretty lengthy, but to date the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens have been the most directly linked. That could change in an instant, but it’s a place for the rumors to start.


About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.