July 20, 1982 |
Saint-Agapit, QC, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
Columbus Blue Jackets
|NHL Draft||55th overall, 2000
Antoine Vermette (born July 20, 1982) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Vermette previously played in the NHL for the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes. Drafted in the second round, 55th overall in 2000 by Ottawa, Vermette was a member of the 2007 Senators team that appeared in the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.
Vermette played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Upon being drafted in the second round, 55th overall, by the Ottawa Senators at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, he returned to the QMJHL for two more seasons and recorded a major junior career-high 119 points in 2000–01. In his final year of junior, Vermette was limited to just four games during the regular season due to an mis-diagnosed nerve problem in his neck originally thought to be Post-concussion syndrome. He returned in the playoffs to contribute 26 points in 22 games, leading the Victoriaville Tigres to the 2002 President's Cup as QMJHL champions, as well as an appearance in the 2002 Memorial Cup in Guelph, Ontario, finishing with a silver medal from the tournament after falling in the finals to the Western Hockey League (WHL)'s Kootenay Ice.
Emerging from his major junior career, Vermette played the 2002–03 season with Ottawa's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. In 74 games, he scored 18 goals and 20 assists and earned a place on the AHL All-Rookie Team. The following season, 2003–04, Vermette earned an NHL roster spot with Ottawa out of training camp. In his rookie NHL season, he would appear in 57 games, scoring 14 points.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Vermette returned to Binghamton and scored 28 goals and 45 assists, second in team scoring only to Jason Spezza. As NHL play resumed the next season, Vermette broke out with 21 goals. He proved to be a valuable part of the Senators' lineup, providing valuable secondary scoring behind the team's top line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson. Vermette's six short-handed goals ranked second in the League in the statistic. In light of the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Senators were considered Stanley Cup contenders by many, but were ultimately upset by the Buffalo Sabres in five games. In the subsequent off-season, on July 18, Vermette signed a two-year, $2 million contract extension with Ottawa.
In 2006–07, Vermette continued to improve, increasing his points total to 39 points, spending the majority of the season on a checking line with fellow penalty-killer Chris Kelly. The duo were rarely apart. On December 2, 2006, Vermette famously scored from behind the net through his legs on the short side against the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Johan Holmqvist. The goal became well-known around the League and was named TSN's "Goal of the Season." During the 2007 playoffs, Vermette recorded five points in 20 games and helped the Senators to the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference champions before ultimately losing the Stanley Cup to the Anaheim Ducks in five games.
Vermette recorded his first career hat-trick on April 3, 2008, against Vesa Toskala in an 8–2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After completing another career-year in 2007–08, recording personal bests with 24 goals, 29 assists and 53 points, Vermette re-signed with the Senators on July 31, 2008, to a two-year, $2.525 million contract, thereby avoiding salary arbitration.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Leading up to the 2009 NHL trade deadline, Vermette was widely rumored to be the subject of trade talks between the Senators and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus General Manager Scott Howson, looking for scoring help as his team attempted to make the playoffs for the first time in its history, was reportedly offering goaltender Pascal Leclaire in exchange for Vermette. The deal later became official, as on March 4, Vermette was traded to Columbus for Leclaire and a second-round draft pick in 2009, which Ottawa eventually used to select goaltender Robin Lehner.
Vermette was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes on February 22, 2012, in exchange for goaltender Curtis McElhinney, a 2012 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2013 fifth-round draft pick. He would go on to score five goals with five assists for the Coyotes during the 2012 playoffs.
On December 21, 2013, Vermette recorded his second career hat-trick in a 4–3 win against his former team, the Ottawa Senators. Vermette's third goal of the night proved to be the game winning goal in overtime.
In both the 2012–13 and 2013–14 regular seasons with the Coyotes, Vermette finished in the top ten NHL leader list in faceoff win percentage; he finished both seasons with a faceoff win percentage above 56%.
On February 28, 2015, nearing the end of the 2014–15 season, with the Coyotes effectively out of playoff contention, traded Vermette, a pending unrestricted free agent, to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 first-round draft pick. On May 23, in the playoffs with Chicago, Vermette scored the game-winning goal against the Anaheim Ducks in double overtime of the Western Conference Finals, tying the seven-game series at 2–2 in the process.
- Awarded the Mike Bossy Trophy (top QMJHL draft prospect) in 2000.
- Named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2003.
Regular season and playoffs
|2008–09||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||17||7||6||13||8||4||0||0||0||10|
|2009–10||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||82||27||38||65||32||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||82||19||28||47||60||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||60||8||19||27||12||—||—||—||—||—|
In 2009, Antoine married his childhood sweetheart, Karen, a pharmacist. They have no children.
- "Coyotes add Jackets' Vermette". National Hockey League. February 22, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- "Vermette Completes Hat Trick with OT Goal". National Hockey League. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "Regular Season Faceoff Leaders". National Hockey League. December 18, 2014.
- "Vermette acquired by Blackhawks for steep deadline price". Yahoo! Sports. February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- Antoine Vermette's player profile at TSN.ca
- Antoine Vermette's player profile at NHL.com
- Antoine Vermette's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Winner of the Mike Bossy Trophy