In a surprising move, the Arizona Coyotes announced Monday that the team has put Antoine Vermette on waivers for the purpose of buying out the remaining year of his contract.
The move will give the team $2.5 million in cap savings for the 2016-2017 season, according to General Fanager’s buyout calculator. The team will be responsible for a $1.25 million cap hit this year and next year to accommodate the buyout.
Vermette, 34, has been a member of the Coyotes for parts of the past five seasons. After being traded to Chicago at the 2015 trade deadline, Vermette went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, chipping in multiple game-winning goals. Vermette then signed a two-year deal with Arizona that summer.
Vermette scored 17 goals and 38 points in 76 regular-season games last year and has 70 goals and 149 points in 291 regular-season games with the Coyotes. He has 211 goals and 471 points in 910 career regular-season games with the Senators, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blackhawks.
The buyout decision was made in order to create more cap flexibility for the young talent in the Arizona organization.
“In order to give our team more flexibility, we needed to make this difficult decision,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. “This move will provide an opportunity for some of our young, talented players to step up. Antoine is a class act and we thank him for all he did on and off the ice for the Arizona Coyotes organization. We wish him the best in the future.”
Vermette will now be an unrestricted free agent. He would be an excellent pick-up for any team looking for some scoring depth, especially down the middle. Vermette ranked 14th in the NHL in faceoff percentage last season, winning 55.8 percent of his draws, according to Puck Base.
For more information on offseason buyouts, check out the HFL Buyout Tracker
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