The Arizona Coyotes placed Antoine Vermette on waivers today for the purpose of buyout. Vermette is nearing the end of a very successful NHL career, that includes over 900 regular-season games and a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. Edmonton employed a tragic third and fourth line last season, can Vermette help?


  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.04 (No. 9 among Coyotes forwards>400 minutes)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.61 (No. 4 among Coyotes forwards>100 minutes)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 46.3
  • Qual Comp: (3rd line opp)
  • Qual Team: (3rd, borderline 4th team)
  • Corsi Rel: 0.7
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 123/13.8%
  • Boxcars: 76GP, 17-21-38
  • (All numbers via and


arz vollman

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Vermette (based on this graph) is about where the BTN numbers suggest he should be—in a group of second and third line forwards who are working in a softer area of the opposition. The tough minutes in Arizona (based on the Vollman) belong to Tobias Rieder, Martin Hanzal, Brad Richardson and Jordan Martinook.

The advantage for Arizona’s deployment for Vermette should be a strong 5×5/60, and as the numbers above show he did not deliver. If you are the Coyotes, that is probably enough to justify the buyout (they may have been trying to deal him until now—his boxcar numbers are quite good).

Bottom line: 5×5 offense is poor based on where Vermette was deployed. That is a big damned deal.


The power play offense above suggests he might be able to help—although you would prefer him to be righthanded. Vermette’s faceoff percentage—55.8—would be welcomed by Edmonton, as that would tower over many of their current centers:

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  1. Matt Hendricks 55.4
  2. Mark Letestu 51.3
  3. Leon Draisaitl 48.4
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 44.8
  5. Connor McDavid 41.2


The Oilers should aim higher in their efforts to improve their bottom 6F, but the summer is six weeks old (or so) and Peter Chiarelli is burning daylight. If Edmonton does sign Vermette, expect Anton Lander to be the odd man out.

  • camdog

    If RNH was considered at legitimate number 1 centre in the league he would have been the one traded for help on defense instead of Hall. Reality is he is regarded as a solid number 2 around the league. With McDavid as this teams number 1 centre, it sort of shocks me that people still would contemplate RnH as an equal. He is not Malkin to Pittsburgh’s Crosby.

    • McNuge

      Malkin is no Crosby. Great player but sorry man, he’s no Sid. So to a degree it is comparable, then again not because Sid and Geno are much further along in their careers. And being considered a solid number 2 centre at Nuges age, with the numbers and competition faced is impressive. RNH still has a lot of tread on the tires and could still be a legit #1. Writing him off as hitting his ceiling at 23 is foolish.

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        Most forwards have their most productive years from 24 to 30, so 23 is pretty close what you get. Although I must admit (or at least hope) that last year’s RNH was an was a good reflection of his true value. Nonetheless whether RNH will ever hit the 60 point plateau is far from certain.

    • Seanaconda

      I don’t think he is his equal I just don’t think the over 65 points to be considered a number 1 is fair when 55 is top 30.

      If you wanted to judge number ones as the top 30 centers in the league is all.

  • Explicit

    I raise you all with Crosby’s! No disrespect to the legends of the past, but Crosby would skate circles around anyone from the past and make them look like Nikitins. That’s why you can’t compare era’s. Gretzky was better in his era than Crosby is in his, but Crosby would skate around Gretzky. Context… It’s all about context

  • Spoils

    i’d hope we can do better than Vermette, but we have cap space and a need for competition to push Pulj and Yak and Letestu and Draisaitl.

    They are all question marks / or sub-optimal at this moment… worst case Katz loses a couple million – lord knows his season ticket holder / fans deserve it.

    i’d like to see the oilers sign one more veteran FW that could add offence

  • That's My Point

    Wow; I think the Oilers can see 28th place this year if they sign him.
    Need WAAAAAAAY more than that to improve the team next season.

    • Hemmercules

      Settle down. Worked with Chia in Boston, a Chia hire not Katz.

      I still can’t figure why you hang around here when you hate everything about the team top to bottom??

    • Jay (not J)

      Didn’t he work for Chiarelli in Boston? I don’t think that this is the same sort of rot we’ve seen in the past. If PC has a guy he wants to use, he shouldn’t be off limits because of his last name. I’m curious about what this means for the current assistant GM.

  • Randaman

    Vermette for third line Center, move Draisaitl to the wing with Nuge and put Letestu on the fourth line. This takes the pressure off of Nuge and or Draisaitl to carry their own line.

    • Moe Sizzlack

      I agree ..

      1. Lucic-McD-Puljuaarvi (the kids have there semenko, only with scoring touch)

      2. Drai- Nuge- Ebz

      3. Pou-Vermette-Yak

      4. Maroon-Letestu-Kassian

      Now those are actual NHL 3rd and 4th lines !!

        • Keepyourstickontheice

          Lucic- McDavid- Eberle

          Pouliot- Nuge- Draisaitl

          Maroon- Vermette- Yakupov

          Hendricks- Letestu- Kassian

          Draisaitl was playing RW not left, I’d rather keep him on the wing he was gellin’ with. Hendricks is solid gold and can play everywhere.

          Hendricks- McDavid- Hendricks

          Hendricks- Hendricks- Hendricks

          Hendricks- Hendricks- Hendricks

          Hendricks- Hendricks- Hendricks

          IF only we had a cloning machine and 14 of Mr. Wagon, we would have a Stanley Cup contender ladies and gentleman!

          • RJ

            If they could clone hockey players I’d love to see them ice five Maurice Richards.

            But then other teams would do the same, and it would be five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards. ?

          • RJ

            So rarely does one get the chance to use the word “cretin” anymore.

            The cretins who gave a thumbs down did not appreciate the obvious reference to “The Hockey Sweater”. Shame!

          • ubermiguel

            I know, I was shocked! We need and emergency “Canadian Culture 101” class for a few people here. Course work will include and in-depth analysis of lyrics of “The Log-Driver’s Waltz” and the ecology of “Hinterland’s Who’s Who”. The final project is watching the Hip play on the CBC on the 20th while sobbing between shots of Crown Royal.

          • Jay (not J)

            My Canada doesn’t need a CBC, or their sweaters whether it’s an ugly Leafs’ sweater or an ugly Habs’ sweater. Do I have to wait until Mr Downie passes before mentioning that the Hip haven’t made a consistent album since the 90s? I do get a kick out of that Log Driver’s Waltz though. Maybe I’ll watch it with a bit of Crown…

          • Serious Gord

            Bobby Orr was arguably the best fighter of his era – with a mean streak with few parallels. That and he was a heck of a of bigger than the rocket and in the playoffs the Orr team would beat them even worse than in the regular season.

          • RJ

            Well my cloned Richards were all given large doses of HGH, so they’re now all 6’4, and 225 lbs, so the Orrs were no match.

            On a more serious note, after I read your comment, I went to YouTube to check out some Bobby Orr fights.

            I give him full kudos for standing up for himself, but I don’t see “best fighter of his era”, especially with the shots after the player was tied up by the linesman or one of his teammates. His fights were cheap. At least the ones I saw.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Sorry, man. Orr wouldn’t even make the present day Oilers. Today’s players are much bigger, stronger and faster. As for Vermette… seriously? Time to set our sights a little higher.

          • HardBoiledOil 1.0

            not a chance pal! Gretz may not have been physically tough but he didn’t need to be! he was absolutely better than any other player i ever saw, and i have seen them all!

          • Cheap Shot Charlie

            My professional GMing experience from playing “Ice Hockey” on the original NES tells me that you clone the skinny guy.

            My coaching experience is to play a diamond formation where all players skate the exact distance and direction together. I’m not sure this would work 5×5 but 4×4 can’t be that different.

            I agree that the Oilers should clone McDavid but cloning any speedy tall player who can get thrown off the puck should work. This might take McDavid out of the running.

            I hope this settles the debate on who to clone. Stretch RHN and send him to production.

            Next question should be do we change the jerseys to white, green, red or blue?

        • Moe Sizzlack

          Sure, I guess.. (just feel his wheels & right shot would fit well with Connor& he would get a little more room to play with Lucic on his line)…. &&

          Send Letestu for popcorn and throw Hendo in that spot .

          • Spydyr

            I think that would be what I would do with Wagon.Until an injury.

            Puljuaarvi can move up to the top line as the season progresses if he earns it and Yak struggles.

          • Moe Sizzlack

            Pouliot and Vermette’s defensive game would be almost perfect fit for yaks line … They can cover his butt defensively & there both deece in the O-zone other then the dumb penaltys Pou takes

        • Moe Sizzlack

          Thot I was gona take heat for No Hendricks ..

          If it makes u feel any better then put the Drai-Nuge-Ebz as line 1 and Lucic and the kids on line .2 … There both lines 1a and 1b

          • RJ

            Thanks for proving my point.

            Seguin hit 73 points (72 games). Spezza hit 65 points in 75 games. Seguin was a clear #1C, while Spezza was a very solid #2C.

            Please let’s not compare Nuge with Stamkos. Stamkos has scored more goals in a season than Nuge has scored in total points (60 G vs. 56 P). He’s scored better than a point per game five times. Even his worst season in recent years points wise is better than Nuge’s best season ever.

            Nuge is a solid #2C, elite #3C, but he’s no #1C.

          • CMG30

            Your point is nonsense.

            The criteria you set for a legit #1 C is to be top 10 among centers in scoring. By your own words, you think RNH would have to get more points in a season than Stamkos to qualify. In fact, your cut off line appears to be ‘top 10 for points among all centers’ or you’re not a legit 1st line center.

            Nuge has been playing 1st line center for several years now and doing just fine. Furthermore, there’s more to being a #1 C than gaudy point totals. When the Oilers top two lines were on the ice, the Oilers generally held their own against all teams in the league. It was the bottom two lines, defense and goaltending that have been sinking the ship year over year.

          • Seanaconda

            I don’t think anyone ever realises how low scoring has gotten in the nhl. If he gets 55 points he would of been in the top 30 for centers this last year. The first person over 65 was 10th in scoring for centers with 67

  • Oiler Al

    Who needs Vermette. He is Letestu # 2. I think guys like Letestu, and Lander should be cut loose.

    I would sooner pick up Pirri, who can play both center and wing, likes to shoot and score. Better fit age wise with this group and would be a better Cap fit.

    Lucic – McDavid – Ebs

    Pouliot – Nuge – Pirri/ Yak

    Maroon – Drisaitl – Pulujarvi

    Hendricks – Prust – Kassian

  • Prudham's

    Gretzky didn’t need to be tough because he was so hard to hit. Teammates helping was a factor, but someone said hitting him was like trying to hit a rope.

    • Moe Sizzlack

      Jean shorts said 2.4 a year for 2 years haha (think his plan was to wheel the Doctor wife while Samwow was on the ice)

      I countered with 1 yr 1 mill.

      We were both wrong :-/

  • Cowbell_Feva

    I don’t think Vermette would be the worst thing in the world. He is a smart player that can chip in some offense.

    I believe he is a penalty killer as well. I really don’t want to see RNH or McDavid get injured stepping in front of a 100 mph clapper from the point on the PK. I know some coaches like their stars getting the ice time. For me, I’d keep them away from blocking shots, and just double shift if need be for the icetime….anyways, I don’t mind Vermette BUT:

    He is not the area of need for the Oilers. That gaping hole behind Larsson needs to be filled before we worry about our bottom 6.