Countdown To Coyotes Preseason: 10 Days

May 13, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) reacts while on the ice in the second period of game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Just 10 days remain before the Phoenix Coyotes are scheduled to take the ice against the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena on Sept. 24. The number 10 represents the number of points Antoine Vermette scored with the Coyotes in 22 regular season games. The number 10 is also the amount of points Vermette scored in 16 playoff games with the Coyotes, leading the team.

Vermette scored three goals and added seven assists in the regular season after being acquired in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Two of his three goals were contributed on the power play. Played out over a full 82-game season, his numbers would look like this: 11-26-37. Those numbers are directly proportional to the combination of his statistics between Columbus and Phoenix.

Vermette scored five goals and five assists in 16 playoff games last season. His primary position was centering the second line with Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker, but he did spend some time on the first line while Martin Hanzal was injured.

Vermette has been a model of consistency. Not only did he have the exact proportions during his 22 games with Phoenix that he had in 60 games with Columbus, but his hits, blocks, power play points, etc. are very similar over the previous two seasons. During the 2010-2011 season, Vermette recorded 123 hits, 47 blocks, 10 power play points, three game winning goals and 28 assists. During the 2011-2012 season, Vermette recorded 124 hits, 48 blocks, nine power play points, four game winning goals and 26 assists.

Vermette should be a key factor in the success of the Coyotes this season. A full season of Vermette, along with Steve Sullivan, could make up for the losses of Ray Whitney and Daymond Langkow.

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