We’ve seen him make bargain after bargain, which has resulted in piecing together a roster, without much star power, that has reached the Western Conference Finals. It’s an impressive feat, even if it looks like their run is coming to an end, sitting down 3-1 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Even if the Coyotes are unable to pull off a miracle of a comeback, there are going to be plenty of positives for them to pull from this run they’ve made in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. One of those positives is the fact that they managed to make the best move of this year’s trade deadline.
Curtis McElhinney and a pair of draft picks was all it would take for the Coyotes to acquire center Antoine Vermette. And it’s a move that a lot of other teams are likely regretting not making.
Vermette has been a key piece of the Coyotes’ run this postseason. His point totals with the club weren’t incredibly high during the brief time he was in Phoenix during the regular season, but he’s been a main contributor in almost every facet of the game for the Yotes.
Since the postseason began, Vermette has tallied 10 points. He was especially big in the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks, when he notched four goals, three of which came on the power play. For a team that finds it nearly impossible to score with the man advantage, those goals were huge.
But his game goes beyond the numbers. He’s a key contributor both on the power play, obviously, and on the penalty kill. He’s also been absolute dynamite in the faceoff circle, winning his draws at a clip over 60 percent. He can also play the physical game, with over 50 hits during the playoffs, including an 11 hit game against Chicago in the first round.
The trade for Vermette has proven to be an absolutely brilliant move for the Coyotes. He brings a great game as a defensive forward and has been a steady contributor on offense. The best part for Phoenix is that he’s signed for three more years after this season, adding to the highway robbery that Maloney committed against the Blue Jackets.