Vermette is the Coyotes’ Bergeron, says Tippett


He may not be the flashiest player in the league, but Antoine Vermette is a big part of the Phoenix Coyotes, according to coach Dave Tippett.

“I look at a player like [Patrice Bergeron], what he does for Boston,” Tippett said ahead of tonight’s game in New Jersey. “Face-offs. Penalty kill. Power play. Can play against other teams’ top players. That’s the role we use [Vermette] in, and he’s been very good for us in that role.”

Despite all his defensive responsibilities — which include starting a high percentage of shifts in the defensive zone — Vermette has still managed to score 24 times, with 20 assists, this season. And he’s done it all for a manageable cap hit of $3.75 million, on a contract that runs through next season.

“Good center-men are hard to find,” said Tippett. “He’s a good player. Plays in all situations. He’s a good teammate. He’s fit in very well with our group.”