Anaheim Ducks sign Antoine Vermette to two-year, $3.5M contract

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 22: Antoine Vermette #50 of the Arizona Coyotes attempts to screen Cam Talbot #33 of the Edmonton Oilers at Gila River Arena on March 22, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks have signed veteran forward Antoine Vermette to a two-year, $3.5 million contract.

On Monday, the Ducks announced the decision to bring in the 34-year-old Vermette, who was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes earlier in the summer.

Last offseason the Coyotes signed Vermette to a two-year $7.5 million contract. The Coyotes traded Vermette, who had been with the team since 2011-12, to the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2015 trade deadline where he became a playoff hero before returning to Arizona.

Last season, Vermette scored 17 goals and notched 38 points in 76 games played. But Arizona Sports pointed out that the Coyotes wanted to give some of their younger players a chance, and Vermette clogged up a position at center ice.

He played better late last season and ended up with 17 goals and 38 points, but the Coyotes have a logjam at center. Martin Hanzal and Brad Richardson are both under contract, and the Coyotes would like to make space for some of their top prospects, such as 2015 first-round pick (third overall) Dylan Strome and 2014 second-round pick (58th) Christian Dvorak.

In 2015-16 Vermette held a 45.47 score and venue adjusted 5-on-5 CF%. His 5-on-5 CF% Rel was minus-0.99. Vermette ranks second among all active NHL players in faceoff win percentage at 55.8% (min. 13,000 FO) and fifth in faceoff wins (7595).

Vermette gives the Ducks some veteran depth at center, but also eats up salary as the team tries to figure out how to bring back young cornerstones Hampus LIndholm and Rickard Rakell. With Vermette in the mix, the Ducks have $9,270,834 million of salary cap space per General Fanager.

The Orange County Register reported that a long-term contract worth $4 million per-year for Rakell is probable if he can come to terms with the team. A comparable for Lindholm is Columbus Blue Jackets blue liner Seth Jones, who received $5.4 million per-year on a six-year contract.

Added up that equals a possible $9.4 million combined salary cap hit between the two players.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!