The Arizona Coyotes have traded forward Antoine Vermette to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 first-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The most-pursued player leading up to this year’s trade deadline is finally dealt. The Blackhawks were expected to be pursuing this deal quickly soon after losing winger Patrick Kane for 12 weeks to a broken clavicle.
Vermette won’t replace Kane’s offensive skills, but he’s a solid two-way player who can play center or wing and has a decent offensive touch. Given the Blackhawks limited cap space beyond this season, he’s likely a rental player for this season.
The return for Vermette is hefty for a rental, but the Blackhawks are going for a championship this season because cap constraints for 2015-16 means they’ll had to shed some salaries to become cap compliant.
The Coyotes get a decent young defenseman in the 23-year-old Dahlbeck, who’s spent the past two seasons with the Blackhawks farm team and saw four games with the big club this season. They also add a first-round pick in this year’s draft, which they can keep for themselves or possibly use as a trade chip to pursue another player.