“In order to give our team more flexibility, we needed to make this difficult decision,” general manager John Chayka said in a press release. “This move will provide an opportunity for some of our young, talented players to step up. Antoine is a class act and we thank him for all he did on and off the ice for the Arizona Coyotes organization. We wish him the best in the future.”
The Coyotes signed Vermette to a two-year, $7.5-million deal on July 1, 2015. He was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2015 trade deadline in exchange for a first-round draft pick and defenceman Klas Dahlbeck, and returned to the desert in free agency after winning the Stanley Cup with the team.
He has one season remaining on his deal, which carries a cap hit of $3.75 million.
The 34-year-old centreman registered 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 76 games with the Coyotes during the 2015-16 season. He has earned a total of 211 goals and 260 assists in 910 career regular season games over the course of a dozen NHL seasons between the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blackhawks.