The Arizona Coyotes had a disappointing season from veteran center Antoine Vermette in 2015-16.
Despite playing top six minutes at times, the former Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets pivot – who returned to the Coyotes in the summer of 2015 following a Stanley Cup victory with the Chicago Blackhawks – only put up 17 goals and 38 points.
Now, with two young centers looking to break into the lineup this season in Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak, it seems that the team is ready to cut ties with their long-time forward, who would have been the third highest-paid forward on the roster next year.
While it’s not a guarantee that either prospect make the team out of training camp, both had good showings at the Coyotes summer development camp, and expectations are high.
It was announced on Monday morning that Vermette has been placed on unconditional waivers, with the intention to buy him out of his current deal.
Per General Fanager, Vermette is sitting on a $3.75 million salary for the upcoming season. By buying him out, the 34-year-old will instead cost just $1.25 million in both cap space and in actual payout for each of the next two years.
Drafted 55th overall by the Senators in 2000, Vermette – a native of St.-Agapit, Quebec – will leave the team with 211 goals and 471 points across 910 career NHL games. He has won the Stanley Cup once, doing so last spring after getting dealt to the Blackhawks.
The Coyotes had opted not to buy out Vermette during the first league-wide buyout window, but were given a second chance to do so this week following the signing of defenseman Michael Stone, who had filed for arbitration.