The Anaheim Ducks are loaded with depth up front and they’ve added another piece to the mix. On Monday, the Ducks signed free agent Antoine Vermette to a two-year, $3.5 million deal.
Vermette, who became a free agent after being bought out by the Coyotes earlier this month, gives the Ducks another solid two-way player with plenty of Stanley Cup playoff experience. He was part of the ‘Hawks team that won the cup back in 2015.
The 34-year-old scored 17 goals and 38 points in 76 games with the ‘Yotes in 2015-16, which makes his $1.75 million cap hit seem like a steal.
It’s an intriguing move for Anaheim. They’re already loaded at center with Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell. It’s unlikely they’d use Vermette as a fourth liner, so a move to the wing (when everyone is healthy) for he or Rakell is entirely possible.
Also, Rakell still hasn’t signed a new contract and remains a restricted free agent. Bringing Vermette into the fold could give the Ducks a little more leverage in negotiations with Rakell.
Since coming into the league in 2003-04, Vemette has the second-best faceoff percentage among active players at 55.8 percent (minimum 13,000 faceoffs).
The Ducks have $9.27 million in cap space with Rakell and top defenseman Hampus Lindholm both still looking for new contracts.