USATSI_8339998_154158418_lowresThe Chicago Blackhawks have acquired forward Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Klas Dahlbeck and a first round pick for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In Vermette, the Blackhawks get an 11-year veteran who has played for the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. He spent the last four years in Arizona and has 430 points to show for himself over his career thus far.

In 63 games this season, Vermette has 35 points but is a dismal -23. He has six power play goals, however, and should fit in nicely on the Blackhawks’ second line.

Reports had suggested that Chicago had been looking at Vermette for some time and the deal was likely always going to go down. Things hit a fever pitch with the injury to Patrick Kane, which made acquiring another valuable forward a necessity rather than a desire.

That explains why the price for Vermette looks so high. Giving up a first round pick and a treasured prospect in Dahlbeck is probably more than Chicago was hoping to part with, but they smell victory and aren’t going to let a little injury to Kane get in the way. This is a franchise that just went all-in on the post-season.

What this indicates is that the prices are darn high right now. That could spell some interesting moves as the trade deadline approaches and it could limit possibilities, especially with some big ticket players already having flown the coop.

In the more immediate situation, the Blackhawks still have to love this trade. Vermette gives them faceoff wins, which gives Chicago the puck more often which gives them more opportunities to put said puck into the net. It sounds simplistic, but Vermette and Jonathan Toews are a dangerous one-two punch in the faceoff dot.

In terms of actual possession, the newest Blackhawk could use a little work but should benefit from having such a stellar cast. He’ll excel on special teams, of course, and that counts for a lot.

As far as the Coyotes are concerned, this worked out well. Dahlbeck is a big strong defender with solid two-way ability. He’s probably been ready for the NHL for a while now, but he’s been playing hard in the AHL. In Arizona, it’s expected that he’ll make the jump sooner rather than later.

Advertisements