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Blackhawks acquire Antoine Vermette from Coyotes

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman likely will be making significant changes to his roster this summer because of salary cap considerations. But it seems clear he wants to give this group a shot at winning a third Stanley Cup in six years after he gave up a first-round draft pick and defenseman prospect Klas Dahlback to the Arizona Coyotes for rental center Antoine Vermette.635607585399416694-USP-NHL-Ottawa-Senators-at-Arizona-Coyotes

With Patrick Kane out 12 weeks after collarbone surgery, the Blackhawks needed another forward with some offensive gifts to play among their top six forwards. Vermette, scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, was generally regarded as the most desirable rental forward in the marketplace. Several contenders coveted Vermette because he is a two-way forward who also is strong on faceoffs. He has 13 goals in 52 games this season.

On Friday, Bowman gave up a second-round and a fourth-round draft pick to land defenseman Kimmo Timonen. With Kane on long-term injured reserve, the Blackhawks had added cap space to make these moves. Next season, Kane and Jonathan Toews start the first year of a new contract that comes with a cap hit of $10.5 million.

The Blackhawks also need to re-sign Brandon Saad and he will command a major raise. What it probably means is that the team won’t be able to re-sign defenseman Johnny Oduya and Michal Roszival who will be unrestricted free agents. Plus, the Blackhawks may have to trade one of their top forwards, such as Patrick Sharp. Oduya is currently on injured reserve. But Bowman’s moves does give this team the opportunity to be highly competitive in the playoffs. If the Blackhawks could make the Western Conference Final, Kane might get back in the lineup