When Antoine Vermette was traded from Columbus to Phoenix in February, most of the discussion focused on the Blue Jackets, a team that had taken on millions and millions in salary during the summer only to end up the worst in the NHL.
“This is moving forward,” Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said. “We have to move forward. It wasn’t working this season as we expected. We’re going to move forward and this is part of the process of reshaping the team.”
Little did we know the 29-year-old center that cost the Coyotes a 2012 second-round pick, a conditional 2013 fifth-rounder, and AHL goalie Curtis McElhinney would be tied for fifth in NHL scoring after eight playoff games.
Only three Flyers – Claude Giroux, Danny Briere and Jakub Voracek – and one eliminated Penguin, Jordan Staal, have more points than Vermette’s eight (5 goals, 3 assists).
“It’s been a good fit,” Vermette told the National Post after the Coyotes advanced to the second round. “Obviously, I was really happy when I was traded to be able to compete in those important games. I was missing that for a few years in Columbus.”
The Vermette acquisition wasn’t the only one that’s worked out well for Phoenix GM Don Maloney.
In January, the Coyotes plucked forward Gilbert Brule off re-entry waivers. The former sixth overall pick has two goals and an assist in the playoffs.