While Jim Rutherford swinging for the fences for a Taylor Hall type winger is not being ruled, (a more likely scenario this summer), the Penguins continue to monitor rental wingers whose salaries fall in the Pascal Dupuis range ($3.75 million).
Though unconfirmed, the latest name to surface on the Penguins radar is Phoenix Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette. The 32 year old versatile forward who can play wing and center, is drawing considerable interest around the league, especially in the East.
NHL Insider Darren Dreger on TSN 1040 Tuesday, linked Vermette to Pittsburgh and Boston. “I keep going back to Arizona and Antoine Vermette, I know Boston and Pittsburgh, two Eastern Conference powerhouse, Boston less so this year, but both of those clubs have interest in Antoine Vermette,” Dreger said. “Not saying Boston lands him, but I do believe that Chiarelli is going to be active.”
Vermette, 32, is in the final year of his deal with a $3.75 million cap hit. Some executives believe he’ll be a $5-$6 million a year player on the open market because of the lack of centers available this summer.
Vermette has 8 goals and 21 points in 33 games. He scored 24 goals last season and scouts like his two-way game and versatility to play center and winger.