Market for Arizona Coyotes’ Antoine Vermette seemingly growing every day

Feb 26, 2015, 3:10 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm
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With the NHL trade deadline approaching, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Arizona Coyotes will be active.

The Coyotes, 20-34-7, are on a seven-game losing streak and their 47 points are the third-fewest in the league. Plenty of teams should be ringing general manager Don Maloney’s phone in the next few days.

One veteran, center Antoine Vermette, should be a popular topic of discussion among teams looking for deadline help. He’s a good player on a bad team who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun writes that Vermette makes a lot of sense for the Chicago Blackhawks to pursue in light of Patrick Kane’s clavicle injury that will keep the star sidelined for up to three months.

But to me, he would be a great fit for Chicago, a 200-foot player who can play wing and center while helping both the power play and penalty kill; he is easily the stud among the rental forwards available.

Vermette, 32, has 13 goals and 22 assists this season for and continues to be a solid faceoff man. His 56.1 faceoff percentage ranks second on the team and he’s third in the NHL with 750 wins in the circle.

If the Blackhawks are interested, they reportedly won’t be alone. LeBrun lists the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers as teams that could also be looking Arizona’s way in a deal for Vermette.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun listed the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins as possible suitors for Vermette’s services.

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