Pittsburgh Penguins Not Likely To Pursue Vermette


The Pittsburgh Penguins have been criticized by their lack of forward depth for years now. However, this season GM Jim Rutherford has (theoretically if all the players are healthy) developed the deepest forward groups the Penguins have had since winning the Stanley Cup back in 2008-2009.

It has been no secret that Rutherford desires more depth at forward as evidenced by his (failed) trade for Rob Klinkhammer. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins survived that mistake by sending him to Edmonton with a first round draft pick to acquire wing David Perron. This was an excellent deal and Perron is a young talented wing who can potentially skate with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Additionally, David Perron is under contract for next season, so the Penguins did not just land another rental player for an expensive price.

After the trade was made Rutherford came out and publicly said that he was not interested in dealing any of the Penguins young defenders.

“I wasn’t making any of our young defensemen part of that deal” – Jim Rutherford

Based on his logic while trading for Perron, most likely he will be very unwilling to part with any of their “big three”

Scott Harrington


Brian Dumoulin


Derrick Pouliot

. With the Pittsburgh Penguins (admittedly) late first round draft pick already gone, it’s hard to see them being able to trade for any other big name forwards.

One name that has been linked to the Penguins is Arizona Coyotes’ center Antoine Vermette. He is a legitimate top six forward playing for a dreadful Arizona team. This season he has played in 39 games, scored 10 goals and 15 assists for a total of 25 points. Given the Pittsburgh Penguins positive relationship with the Arizona Coyotes it is not unfathomable to consider the Penguins trying to make the trade.  

More from Penguins News

However, what would the Pittsburgh Penguins be willing to give up to get Vermette? The first thing people would think is Paul Martin and that is a logical thought process. Would Paul Martin be enough to land Vermette? I do not think so but if Arizona wants to make that trade, Rutherford needs to pull the trigger. Any sort of package deal that has been thought has included center Brandon Sutter.

Sutter is not someone the Pittsburgh Penguins should trade away before trying to make a run for the Stanley Cup. He is a young talented center who is vital to the success of the penalty kill and is able to contribute offensively. Consider that Antoine Vermette is the top offensive weapon for Arizona and in Pittsburgh he might be the number three center or a top six wing. It is easily conceivable that if Brandon Sutter were in his position he would be able to produce 25 points in 39 games.

Vermette really is not an upgrade over Sutter and that is why the Penguins do not need him. Vermette is older, costs more and his contract expires after this season. While Sutter is younger and locked up into next season. People have said Sutter will be too expensive to resign and that might be true but the Penguins have him under contract through this season, so use him while he is inexpensive.