Sunday, March 01, 2015

Blackhawks Nab Vermette

Another big domino of the Trade Deadline fell, well before the Monday broadcasts for the final day of movement in the NHL.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been busy, acknowledging that their team needed some help after the loss of Patrick Kane to his collarbone injury.  On Friday night, they acquired non-pool defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers and then on Saturday night, they picked up Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes.

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Chicago POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Antoine Vermette F 63 13 22 35 $3.75 mil UFA
To Arizona POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Klas Dahlbeck D 4 1 0 1 $613k RFA
2015 1st Round Draft Pick

The Blackhawks are definitely going after another long playoff run this year, opting to move their 1st round pick in the move for the veteran centre and they also moved prospect defenseman Klas Dahlbeck in the transaction as well.

The Coyotes have been fairly public in their desire to restart the focus of their club, especially after a disaster year, like they had thus far in 2015.  Starting that, the team moved out Vermette, who plays a good two-way game, but being a free agent in the Summer will mean a pretty good payday for him, something the Coyotes likely don't want to commit to in a rebuild situation.

For the Blackhawks, this should be just a straight rental for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, as their cap situation won't be conducive to re-signing Vermette in July, as his contract demands will be around the $5 million mark.  He will offer some quality depth to the Blackhawks, likely in a 2nd or 3rd line centre role, giving the team some offensive upside in the transition game.

In the pool, Vermette belongs to Cam, who can now see Brian in his rear view mirror and isn't making up any ground on Wes or Clayton for the last money position.  This move should be able to provide some more offense to his side, since he will be playing with a higher octane offense, up and down through the Chicago lineup.  Being 28 points out of the money might be too much for Vermette to make-up on his own, but he'll help shrink the number, in theory, to aid the rest of his team in making the move.

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