Coyotes’ Antoine Vermette is ready to play at home in a season opener

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Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said on Thursday he expects forward Antoine VERMETTE to play the first game of his new five-year, $26.5 million contract in Arizona.

Vermettes arrival at PPL Center comes at a time when Arizona has been without captain Shane Doan for the past two games with a lower-body injury.

Vermilion will wear a mask for the first time in his career after a long recovery from the lower-leg injury that required surgery.

Vermoulin said it would be hard for him to be fully involved if Doan was out.

Vermotte has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since he was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Coyotes in 2015, and the Coyotes will be hoping he can return to his best form.

The 26-year-old will join a Coyotes lineup that has lost captain Shane Goaltender Justin Schultz to a lower body injury and defenseman Max Domi to a broken right leg.

Arizona has lost defenseman Andrew Desjardins and forward Alex Tuch, as well as defenseman Mikko Rantanen, who has missed four games with an undisclosed injury.

The Coyotes are 6-3-2 with Vermilions absence and 5-1-1 in his absence.

The team also has eight players with two-game suspensions: defenseman Kyle Wood, who is suspended for the second time this season, and defenseman Kyle Brodziak.

Verminiette, who scored in his third straight game, was scratched for the final period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.

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