We have a little more than a month before the March 2 trade deadline, but so far Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette is arguably the hottest trade chip on the market. There’s no shortage of teams that are interested in him, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Naturally, with demand so high for the 32-year-old center, the Coyotes expect a good return.
It’s believed that Vermette might come at the cost of a first round pick and a good prospect. Given how highly regarded the 2015 draft class is, that first rounder could be particularly valuable, even if it’s coming from a contending team. That price point might also push some clubs out of the running.
For example, the New York Rangers are believed to have interest in Vermette, per McKenzie, but they see him as more of a rental as their current salary cap position would make it difficult for them to re-sign Vermette before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. So for them, Vermette might not be worth the potential cost, but other clubs like the Anaheim Ducks are in a better position to acquire and then ink him.
Vermette has 11 goals and 31 points in 48 games and is particularly notable for his versatility and his 55.6% faceoff success rate. He comes with a very affordable $3.75 million annual cap hit, but he’s likely in line for a significant payday.