By Michael Walters
Antoine Vermette has signed a two-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks as previously reported by Gabriel Leblanc of Hockey TV. The deal is worth $1.75 million per year according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. Per Capfriendly.com, he was contracted for $3.75 million last season and this coming season but was recently bought out by Arizona.
Per GeneralFanager.com, Vermette’s deal has a no movement clause(NMC) that becomes a no trade clause(NTC). The NMC starts this season and expires on 6/16/17. It then becomes a standard NTC from 6/16/17 through 6/30/17. Starting July 1, 2017, and expiring June 30, 2018, the NTC is modified in which he submits an 8-team trade list for the 2017-18 season. Only NMC’s apply to the expansion draft, so Vermette can still be exposed as players with a NTC do not have to be protected.
Vermette has been in the league since 2003 and has played for Ottawa, Arizona, Columbus, and Chicago. He has played in 910 games recording 471 total points(211 goals + 260 assists). In 76 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season, Vermette had 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 total points. His +/- rating was -14.
He will be a solid veteran addition to the Anaheim lineup. He could fill Nate Thompson‘s position until he returns. Vermette can play center, but he can also play wing if necessary. This will give Randy Carlyle more options with his lineup. Vermette is 34 years old, but he has averaged just under 40 points in his last four full NHL seasons. He is a solid two-way player that can skate, win face-offs, and produce offensively. He also has playoff experience playing in 78 playoff games and earning 25 points(13 goals + 12 assists).
He did sign a two-year contract, which Bob Murray could have done to help Anaheim meet the minimum requirement of exposed players in the expansion draft. In order to meet the requirement for exposed forwards, there must be two who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons. The Ducks only had 8 forwards(including Rickard Rakell) under contract in 2017-18 before Vermette’s signing. The Ducks needed to add one forward through 2017-18 if they want to elect the option of protecting seven forwards in the upcoming expansion draft. Assuming Rakell is re-signed, adding Vermette for at least two seasons helps Anaheim meet the requirement.
The Ducks still need to re-sign Hampus Lindholm, in addition to Rakell. Signing Vermette leaves Anaheim with just under $7 million in cap space remaining and almost guarantees a future trade to create more cap space.
For all the transactions this summer please visit: Ducks Transaction Tracker: Summer 2016
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