A couple days ago, it was reported that forward Antoine Vermette was working his way through at least five offers from NHL teams. Today, it seems the 34-year-old has made his decision and has signed a two-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks.
Vermette was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes on August 1, with a year to go on his existing contract. According to Arizona general manager John Chayka, the decision to waive Vermette was part of a plan to clear space for young talent. With his skillset no longer required in the desert, the St. Agapit native moved on.
According to reports, the deal with the Ducks is worth $3.5 million. As expected, that’s a bit of a slip in salary.
As we saw with our 2016-2017 season preview of the Ducks, there’s definitely some room for Vermette down the middle. The club can shuffle the deck to create more versatility down the left side and can bank on their new acquisition’s faceoff prowess, which is frankly among the very best in the league. He’s currently second among NHLers with at least 13,000 faceoffs, working at a 55.8 percent efficacy.
In 910 career games with the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks, Vermette has 471 points – including 211 goals. His best statistical season came with Columbus in 2010-2011, when he piled up 65 points.
In 2008-2009 in Ottawa, Vermette’s faceoff capabilities reached the stratosphere with a 58.37 percent rating.
The Ducks may not be getting the best of Vermette, but there are still a few good years in him and he’s a nice fit for the roster. He’ll assist in playing a puck possession game and brings tremendous two-way capability, with a lot of determination to boot. If there’s a problem in his game, it’s in terms of consistency.
But Anaheim won’t be looking to Vermette to score insomuch as they’ll be looking for him to gain ground. And that’s certainly something he can do.
“I’m 34, but I don’t feel that old,” Vermette said. “I feel really good and had a great summer. I’ll keep pushing hard.”