Blog Entry

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 4:16 pm
Vermette had been with the Jackets since being traded from Ottawa in 2009. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Blue Jackets fire sale has begun with the trading of center Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes. Bob McKenzie of TSN broke the news of the deal.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the return to Columbus is a second-round draft pick, a fifth-round (possibly fourth) and a goalie too in Curtis McElhinney.

Columbus GM Scott Howson told the Dispatch on Tuesday that the team was getting closer to a deal. No kidding.

The Coyotes get themselves a good center who had hit a rough spot in Columbus this season. He has just eight goals and 19 assists this season but it was only two years ago that he scored 27 goals while recording 38 assists for the Jackets. There isn't any reason to think a change of scenery and the jolt of joining a playoff race could spark him back to those bigger offensive numbers.

“We are extremely pleased to acquire Antoine,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. “He is a smart, skilled, two-way center who will be a great addition to our lineup.”

What makes the deal a bit more interesting for Phoenix is that Vermette, 29, isn't a rental player at all. In fact, he's kind of pricey, and for a team that is being run by the NHL, you don't necessarily expect that. Vermette still has three years left on his contract after this for $3.75 million per season.

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It also makes it very clear that the Coyotes believe this recent hot streak of theirs can last. They have won eight of nine and vaulted into a tie with the Sharks in the Pacific Division. Now they want to make sure it can last and acquire Vermette to help.

Really, it's another shrewd move for one of the better GMs in the game, Maloney. Considering the high prices that players have been going for or rumored to be going for, this is a reasonable price for Vermette. The fifth-round in the draft can often just be a crap-shoot and the second round surprisingly can be too, as Adam Gretz detailed.

The Jackets get those two draft picks but also get McElhinney, an AHL goalie for the Coyotes who has spent some time in the NHL. Spanning five seasons, McElhinney has played 69 career games with a career save percentage of .899 and a 3.10 goals against average. Not a whole lot to inspire Columbus fans that he can be their next starting goaltender.

Of course with the season Vermette is having, Howson likely wasn't going to be able to get a big bounty, so in that regard it's not bad. He gets three assets and maybe more importantly gets Vermette's contract off the books as the team looks like it is heading toward scrapping the organization and starting over.

"This gives us more flexibility," Howson told the Dispatch. "It's never fun trading anybody. I don't think any GM enjoys that. But this is about us moving the team forward."

Maloney talked about the trade a little later on Wednesday and sounds like one pretty happy GM.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:20 am

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Are you ppl serious? Vermette for a 2nd and a 5th is a total coup by the yotes.  Jackets got fleeced. 

Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:40 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

What a great trade, Howson! I expect Nash and Carter will bring some used hockey sticks, gloves, pucks, jock straps and a used Zamboni in trade for them. When will the BJ's owner finally learn Howson is ruining the team and dump him?

Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:15 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Columbus really had too many centers - Carter, Brassard, Pahlsson, Letestu, MacKenzie...Vermette was kind of expendable. We got him for LeClaire, which turned out to be Howson's best trade to date...I think Antoine's ice time fell back and he got moved down on the depth chart when Carter and Letestu came aboard...Brassard's agent negotiated him getting more ice-time, too. He was probably the Blue Jackets' best player in 09-10.

Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:58 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Gonna miss you Vermette! Class player, always played hard...really, one of the better players on the team...

Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Ok... we have an Oilers fan and a Pens fan ripping on a former Senator/Blue Jacket, saying he's not worth a second round pick.  Are you closeted Jackets fans or are you passing judgment on a guy you've MAYBE seen play a handful of times a season?  Vermette is a better player than his stats in Columbus would suggest.  Heck, send anyone into that hockey black hole and their stats are going to dip.  This was a good deal for the Yotes and they'll benefit from his talent in the more immediate future.  The Jackets get to put this deal towards drafting in the future as they clearly aren't making a run this year.  Please tell me, how would a draft pick in June help Phoenix make a playoff run in March/April?

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:37 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

If that's what Howson can pull off in a trade for a guy that's basically a 3rd, maybe a 2nd, line player he should trade the whole team. Vremette isn't worth anywhere near a second, and they get another pick. Good move.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Yotes need more scoring and 20 goals give or take isn't to shabby.  Vermette with a fresh start, great coach and surrounded by team first guys has the makings of satisfying some of that scoring need. 
Didn't give up much, and well under the cap so contract isn't too painfull.  So let's see if the playoff run and a new team gives him a boost.

Since: Feb 17, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2012 3:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2012 2:05 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Not a bad pickup for the Yotes. He's just the type of player Tippett likes. The entire Columbus team was struggling this season. With a fresh start in Phoenix, Vermette could easily turn things around and be very productive there.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 2:01 pm

Coyotes acquire Vermette from Blue Jackets

Somehow i get the feeling the Jackets could have gotten more for a talented player like Vermette. Once again the Coyotes have made a shrewd move without giving up anything except to take on a reasonable salary for his talent and age (29). McElhinney is a 3rd stringer at best, 2nd round picks are being delt left and right since this is going to be a shallow draft after the first 40 players come off the board. There doesn't appear to be as big a talent as there was last year.

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