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Vermette is the Coyotes’ Bergeron, says Tippett

Mar 27, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT

Antoine Vermette, Marc-Andre Fleury AP

He may not be the flashiest player in the league, but Antoine Vermette is a big part of the Phoenix Coyotes, according to coach Dave Tippett.

“I look at a player like [Patrice Bergeron], what he does for Boston,” Tippett said ahead of tonight’s game in New Jersey. “Face-offs. Penalty kill. Power play. Can play against other teams’ top players. That’s the role we use [Vermette] in, and he’s been very good for us in that role.”

Despite all his defensive responsibilities — which include starting a high percentage of shifts in the defensive zone — Vermette has still managed to score 24 times, with 20 assists, this season. And he’s done it all for a manageable cap hit of $3.75 million, on a contract that runs through next season.

“Good center-men are hard to find,” said Tippett. “He’s a good player. Plays in all situations. He’s a good teammate. He’s fit in very well with our group.”

  1. ibieiniid - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    que the Bruins fans (probably justifiably) telling us that “Bergeron is better though.”

    • bildomac07 - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Looks like Hawks fans beat us to it… Blast!

      • ibieiniid - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        lmao! awesome.

  2. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    They both wish they were their teams Toews.

  3. stevebass2 - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Exactly right. While Bergeron (and to a further extent Toews) are arguably a tad better at these areas, Vermette has played exceptionally high-level two way play this season. Excellent at faceoffs, consistent offense, and reliable defense. He has easily been the Coyotes MVP this season (one could make a case for Smith and OEL too). The biggest thing, though, has been his consistency. While the Coyotes are a team that relies on different players stepping up on different nights, Vermette has been without a doubt the player that has stepped up in crunch times the most and on the most consistent basis. If he was playing in a bigger market, I’m sure he’d be getting heavy consideration for the Selke.

  4. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Toews takes it up the right wing… He has kane to his left… He shoots he scores… Right through Rask’s 5 hole and game 6 is tied 1-1. Chara = slowest man alive

    • imleftcoast - Mar 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Chicago Blackhawks: “17 Seconds to Cup” DVD – $17.00

      If there is one word to describe the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals it’s “Seventeen”. Chicago Blackhawks will never forget Game 6 when Dave Bolland and Bryan Bickell scored 17 seconds …

  5. rushledger - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Vermette has to at least be a Selke nominee this year.

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Kopitar bergeron Toews are your nominees. Chara doughty Keith Norris finalists. Getzlaf crosby ovechkin hart finalists

      • pastabelly - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        Not this year for Chara. He’s still very good, but just not as good.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:01 AM

        i think it’s high time that Couturier is in the Selke talks too.

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