Former Coyotes center Antoine Vermette announces retirement

Jan 31, 2019, 11:12 AM

Phoenix Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) celebrates his goal against the Colorado Avalanche dur...

Phoenix Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) celebrates his goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Former Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette, who played five seasons in the desert, announced his retirement on Thursday after 14 seasons.

He made the announcement through a statement put out by the NHL Players Association.

Vermette was not playing with a team in the NHL this season.

Originally drafted by Ottawa in the second round in 2000, Vermette played five seasons for the Senators over six years — missing one season due to the NHL lockout. He was traded in the 2008-09 season to the Blue Jackets and then again in 2011-12 to Phoenix. After playing parts of three seasons in Phoenix — including one that was shortened by another lockout — the now-Arizona Coyotes traded Vermette to Chicago, where he won his one and only Stanley Cup.

That offseason, in 2015, Vermette signed back with the Coyotes as a free agent. He stayed there for just that one season before playing his last two years with the Anaheim Ducks.

Vermette was known for strong faceoff skills and solid offensive production as he scored 19 or more goals in a season 6 times and averaged 56.9 career faceoff percentage. In 291 games with Phoenix/Arizona, Vermette scored 79 goals and 149 assists.

He was on the 2011-12 Coyotes team that went to the Western Conference Finals, the deepest playoff run in team history.

Here is Vermette’s statement in full from the NHLPA website:

As a child, I dreamed of having a chance to play in the best league in the world of my favorite sport. After 15 years in the NHL, here I am, officially announcing my retirement from professional hockey. What a privilege! I am immensely grateful for all these incredible years punctuated by memorable moments that I will cherish forever. For me, hockey has been an outstanding vehicle for teaching the right values such as perseverance, discipline and respect.

I would like to outline the importance of the people who believed in me in the organizations of Ottawa, Columbus, Arizona/Phoenix, Chicago and Anaheim for making this unforgettable journey possible. I wish to thank my agent, all of my coaches and assistant coaches, the support staff of the teams that I had a chance to play for and the others that I crossed paths with around the league. I want to thank my fitness trainer, my special summer training group in Quebec City and the members of the media. Also, I want to thank the fans who by their support, contributed to making my dream a reality. It was from their passion that we experienced some magical moments together.

It was a privilege sharing my daily life with teammates, to forging friendships that will endure well beyond the victories and defeats. All the players that I had the good fortune to play with enriched my life in a way that is not quantifiable. Thank you “Les Boys”!

On a personal level, I feel privileged to have been able to count on the support and unwavering love of the people around me. To my family, my parents, my sister, my wife, my children and my friends by their understanding and thoughtfulness, allowed me in an exceptional way to pursue my dream. There have been tremendous sacrifices made along the way by these caring, devoted and inspiring people. I am eternally grateful.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look towards the future and feel a profound joy to finally be able to spend more time with my loved ones, my wife and my kids.

Thank you for these beautiful years.


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