Feb 9, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) scores the winning goal past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta (31) during the shoot out at the United Center. Arizona won 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Stan Bowman has made quite the splash in the trade market these last couple of days. Last night the Chicago Blackhawks general manager sent a second round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional fourth round pick in next year’s draft to the Flyers for veteran defenseman KImmo Timonen. Bowman was not done dealing. Tonight he sent defensive prospect Klas Dahlbeck and a first round pick in this year’s draft to the Coyotes for center Antoine Vermette. Vermette, thirty-two and a UFA after the season, has been the hottest name on the trading block this season and it’s no secret that the Blackhawks were one of the teams who were in hot pursuit of the two-way forward. The Hawks, along with the Bruins, were two of the teams who were believed to be bidding for the skilled center.
Vermette has amassed thirteen goals and twenty-two assists this season with an Arizona team that has struggled all year. Vermette is a solid two-way forward who excels in the faceoff circle and is an excellent penalty killer. He’ll give the Hawks a little more consistency at the second line center and should help on both ends of the ice.
Dahlbeck, who played in four games with the Hawks this year, but has spent most of the season in Rockford. He put up 4 goals and six assists in forty-nine games with Rockford. Dahlbeck was a candidate to replace Oduya on the blue line next year.
Was it a steep price for Vermette? Sure, but it’s a move that needed to be made. It’s no secret that the Hawks have been struggling as of late and have been exploring the trade market for help. With two big moves in the last two days, the Hawks have done what they can to solidify their line-up. I applaud Bowman for making a move to make the Hawks better. With uncertainty surrounding the current team because of the salary cap crunch next season Bowman is making a statement that it’s time to win now.