The above picture is likely the last time you see Antoine Vermette as the center/winger was shipped to Phoenix this afternoon. The trade, which was first reported by TSN, brings Vermette to the desert in exchange for minor-league netminder Curtis McElhinney and two draft choices.
In Vermette, the Coyotes receive a versatile forward who can play anywhere between the first and third lines. He also brings a great deal of speed and can play either center or wing. Due to injuries to Martin Hanzal and Taylor Pyatt, and the impending UFA status of Daymond Langkow, Shane Doan, and Ray Whitney, Vermette gives the team a lot more options.
He also likely pushes a player like Boyd Gordon or Raffi Torres to a checking line which obviously affects their fantasy hockey value. Nevertheless, if your team is currently relying on either player, it is likely in a lot more trouble.
Back in Columbus, moving Vermette means Ryan Russell and Ryan Johansen no longer have the fear of a healthy scratch. Both players have been shuffling in and out of the lineup recently and both young players should prove their worth shortly. The Blue Jackets also receive more financial stability as they head into yet another rebuild (race to the floor!).
This trade is a good example of a hockey trade — something harder to come by in a salary cap world. As far as owning Vermette, there could be some fringe value in deeper leagues. I personally own him in one league only because he gets faceoff wins while holding wing eligibility. Maybe now he won’t kill me in time of ice and plus/minus.