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Friday, February 24, 2012

Coyotes Acquire Antoine Vermette from Blue Jackets

The Phoenix Coyotes added some offensive depth on Wednesday by acquiring center Antoine Vermette from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Curtis McElhinney, a second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, and a fifth round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft. The fifth round pick can be bumped up to a fourth round pick if the Coyotes win a playoff series this year, while the second round pick originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators and was acquired in the Kyle Turris trade this past December. In 60 games this season with the Blue Jackets, Vermette had eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points. In two games with the Coyotes, McElhinney posted one win, a 1.67 GAA, and a .944 save percentage. He has also appeared in 25 games with Portland of the AHL, posting a 10-13-0 record, with a 3.07 GAA, and a .907 save percentage. A decent trade for the Coyotes, as Vermette will add a lot of two-way and offensive skill to their forward lines. He's also good on faceoffs and has lots of versatility, so he should be an excellent fit for the Coyotes. As for the Blue Jackets, they are now in rebuild mode and will likely be selling off more players in the future. McElhinney adds some experience in goal, but will not be a long-term solution, as he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The key for the Blue Jackets in this trade are the draft picks, which they will use to restock their team in what is expected to be a major rebuild.

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