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Chicago stays aggressive, lands Arizona's Vermette

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Forward Antoine Vermette was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Vermette, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has played the past four seasons for Arizona. The 32-year-old also played for the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets, and has 194 NHL goals and 430 points.

"Vermette is a terrific player," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "... We took some time to find a deal that made sense to us. ... We're very happy with the return."

The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Kimmo Timonen on Friday in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers for two draft picks.

"There's always a premium at this time of year when you're acquiring players as rentals," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday. "That's the way the League works. You have to look at the individual players in the deal and whether that makes sense and you weigh all the factors and you move forward."

After the Coyotes were defeated by the Boston Bruins 4-1 Saturday, and before his trade was revealed, Vermette reflected on his time in Arizona, which ended with the Coyotes on a nine-game losing streak and near the bottom of the NHL standings.

"It's a strange position and it's not a fun one," he said. "It's not the way you see it. As a group here, this is not the position we want to be in."

Vermette has 13 goals and 35 points in 63 games and would likely play on one of the Blackhawks' top two lines as a replacement for wing Patrick Kane, who fractured his left clavicle Tuesday and will be out at least until late May.

"You've got to take [the trade] as a man," Vermette said. "It's part of the game, unfortunately. It's not easy. … [I had a] special group, special guys. I made some friends here."

Dahlbeck, 23 was the 79th pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. He has played four NHL games.

"He's a good prospect," Maloney said. "... There's a very good chance he'll come to Arizona and join the team. That's to be determined. ...

"We like the way he moves, we like his defending style. He's a bigger, thicker body (6-foot-3, 207 pounds)."

Maloney earlier this week said he expected to be very active heading into the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday.

"We'll continue to try to get better over the next couple of days," he said. "This was big for us. Now I can focus on some of these other (possible deals) we're talking about."

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