It has been reported that the Arizona Coyotes have placed center Antoine Vermette on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out the remaining year of his contract. In his 291 regular season games with the Coyotes Vermette has scored 70 goals and recorded 79 assists.
The Coyotes have placed center Antoine Vermette on unconditional waivers.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) August 1, 2016
Vermette has been with the team since midway through the 2011-12 season when the Coyotes traded Curtis McElhinney, a 2012 second round pick and a conditional 2013 fifth round pick. The Coyotes eventually would trade Vermette to the Blackhawks during the 2014-15 season for Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 pick that the Coyotes would then use to select Nick Merkley. The Coyotes did this only to re-sign Vermette in the offseason for a two year, $7.5 million deal.
This move is somewhat unexpected, although there is logic to it. The Coyotes have centers Brad Richardson and Martin Hanzal signed for this upcoming year and it seems likely that either Dylan Strome or Christian Dvorak are ready to make the leap to playing in the NHL next season in a top six role. The move could also open up a spot in the bottom six for a prospect like Tyler Gaudet or Laurent Dauphin. While its not guaranteed that any prospect makes the team out of training camp, management seems more then willing to bet on the future.