The Arizona Coyotes have traded Antoine Vermette to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck.
Vermette was one of Arizona’s top players since he was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets back in 2012. With the way this season has been going for the Coyotes and in addition to Vermette’s free agent status after the current season, this trade has been expected for a while now.
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The return for Vermette was a bit surprising. Chicago gave up a lot. A first-round pick and a prospect for just a rental is a really good return for Arizona as there is no guarantee that Vermette will stay in Chicago beyond this season.
The big return more than likely has to do with the injury sustained by Patrick Kane just a few days ago. Kane went down with an upper body injury that is rumored to be a fractured clavicle. An injury that is reportedly going to sideline him for at least six to 10 weeks.
I’m not saying the Blackhawks were desperate, they are after all still loaded with skill, but they needed to do something to somewhat fill the void left by Kane. What I am saying is, the Coyotes would not have got that big of a return if Kane didn’t go down with injury.
Speaking of that return, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney had this to say about Dahlbeck in a statement released by the team,
"“Klas Dahlbeck is a big, strong, two-way defenseman who skates well and competes hard. We are excited to welcome him to our organization.”"
Dahlbeck was drafted by Chicago in the third round (79th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The 23-year-old defenseman has seen very limited time in the NHL with the Blackhawks, four games to be exact. In those four games he has one point from one goal.
Dahlbeck is a solid stay-at-home defenseman. He won’t be the next Keith Yandle or Oliver Ekman-Larsson type of offensive defensemen, but he does have a big shot that will occasionally find the back of the net.
In 75 games last season, Dahlbeck picked up 10 goals and 25 assists equaling up to 35 points with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
Arizona has been looking to add more stay-at-home types to balance with the more offensively gifted Yandle and Ekman-Larsson, so this move fits with what the team is trying to do as they rebuild.
There has been no word on if Dahlbeck will report to the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, or if he will remain with NHL club.
This is surely not the last trade that Arizona will be making. The NHL Trade Deadline is only two days away, stay tuned for more deals involving the the Coyotes as they look to continue their rebuilding efforts.