After the Arizona Coyotes’ 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins back on Feb. 28, Antoine Vermette held an emotional post-game scrum. The NHL trade deadline was less than 48 hours away and the pending unrestricted free agent knew he would be traded.
Not long before the Coyotes boarded the team plane that night, Vermette was on his way to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a first-round pick and prospect Klas Dahlback. A little over two months later, he was a Stanley Cup champion.
But the fit in Arizona was too good to say goodbye to forever, and on the opening day of free agency, Vermette inked a two-year, $7.5 million deal to return to the Coyotes.
“I was leaving without any expectations. All along through that process, right to the end, I didn’t want to put any kind of pressure on that side,” Vermette said about the March trade. “Right away I didn’t know [whether he'd return]. I knew I was leaving. I knew I could potentially not come back. I wasn’t really thinking about it.”
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