Let’s rampantly speculate about where Vermette could land

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If you haven’t read Halford’s interview with Arizona GM Don Maloney, click here. Once you’re finished, come back and participate in some rampant speculation about where the Coyotes could trade Antoine Vermette.

To get things started, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on the radio this morning that the Bruins and Penguins are believed to have interest. No real surprise there. Vermette is such a versatile player that he could contribute to any lineup, even if he has to be shifted to the wing.

Halford has considered the possibility of Vermette going to the Capitals. I could see that, too.

But before any team considers a bid, I think it has to ask itself two questions.

First question: Are we a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, to the point where we’d be willing to give up significant assets in order to acquire a guy to help put us over the top?

Second question: Do we want — and do we have a good chance — of re-signing Vermette, who’s a pending unrestricted free agent?

The team that can answer yes to both those questions may be willing to give up more than a team that can answer yes to just one.

So, might the Detroit Red Wings be one of those teams? Remember that the whole idea of signing Stephen Weiss was so Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk could play together. Obviously, that plan hasn’t quite come to fruition. The Wings aren’t exactly swimming in cap space, but they could probably find a way to fit Vermette in next season. Buying out Weiss would create some flexibility, for example.

If not the Wings, how about the Tampa Bay Lightning? We all know this team can score, but defensively they’re only average. Imagine then a shutdown line featuring Vermette and Ondrej Palat. Both those guys got Selke votes last season. The Lightning would have to get creative in order to re-sign Vermette, but Steve Yzerman is a pretty creative GM.

If not the Wings and not the Lightning, well, what do the commenters think? The Rangers? The Blackhawks? The Habs? Feel free to speculate below. In rampant fashion.