Top NHL Rental Players Still Available on the Trade Market

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Nov 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) and center

Tobias Rieder

(8) celebrates after a goal in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

121. <strong>Stat Line: </strong>62 games, 13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points, -22. C. Arizona Coyotes. Antoine Vermette. 1. player

Antoine Vermette of the Arizona Coyotes continues to be one of the most sought after players on the trade market here on this last day in February.

The 32-year-old is in the last year of a 5-year, $18.75 million contract and is bound to get payed very well in the open market this summer.

The numbers are not special with Vermette. With just 13 goals and 35 points, Vermette doesn’t seem to have the flash that a team would pay big money for, but when you consider he has been on a failing team in Arizona, you see that these numbers are actually pretty impressive.

He will slot in as a very good second line center on a playoff team in the coming days, if he is dealt. All signs are pointing to him being shipped on out of Arizona.

The Boston Bruins seem like a very possible fit for the veteran forward, as reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The loss of David Krejci for long term will hurt Boston, so they will likely have to go get Vermette in order to be a true contender in the Eastern Conference.

The Chicago Blackhawks have also been rumored to have interest, and with the loss of Patrick Kane, they need the offensive jolt.

Darren Dreger talked about the other day on TSN 690 in Montreal.

"I’d be really surprised if the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t going to try to utilize the LTI cap space now created by Kane to add a piece. And say what you want about the players in play and who we believe to be available – Antoine Vermette is the best of the lot. “So if Chicago doesn’t find a way to get in there, then I’d be real surprised.”"

The race is heating up for Vermette. This one will likely be a bidding war that runs all the way up to the March 2 deadline.

Next: Jeff Petry