Vanek dished out a career-best four assists -- including one on the power play -- in Tuesday's 7-2 win over Toronto. Vanek had produced just one point in his first five games with the Panthers, but he finally flashed the skills that enticed Florida to part with young blueliner Dylan McIlrath and a conditional third-rounder for him at the trade deadline here. While the 33-year-old winger is far from fleet of foot at this point, his world-class hands have Vanek over the 40-point mark for the 12th consecutive season since he cracked the NHL in 2005-06.
Vanek is arguably Detroit's most coveted trade chip; therefore, he may be held out of the lineup Tuesday night against the Canucks to avoid an injury, the Detroit Free Press reports. Vanek is no stranger to the injury bug, so the idea of scratching him in order to preserve his health makes a lot of sense in terms of maximizing his trade value. The Austrian is sure to draw interest as a pending unrestricted free agent who has revived his career in the Motor City, netting a team-high 15 goals and 11 power-play points through 47 games. Vanek is also quite affordable as a rental player cashing in the balance of a $2.6 million deal. It's best to keep Vanek reserved until more is known about his potential landing spot.
Vanek is in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Canucks, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. Vanek's name was swirling around in the NHL trade winds leading up to the deadline, and there was speculation he might be held out of Tuesday's game as a precaution to keep the valuable trade chip healthy. However, he's in there, so perhaps the Austrian veteran is staying put in Motown.
Vanek was traded to the Panthers by the Red Wings for a third-round pick Wednesday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports. The first noteworthy deal of deadline day sees the Red Wings get a seemingly disappointing return for the 33-year-old winger, who's had a resurgent season in Detroit with 38 points in 48 games. It's not clear where Vanek might fit into the Panthers' forward mix, but he could conceivably overtake Reilly Smith for second-line minutes at right wing.
Vanek is "certain to be dealt as a rental" by next Wednesday's trade deadline, MLive.com reports. With GM Ken Holland in an unfamiliar position of knowing that the Wings are likely to miss the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons, Vanek is one of the leading candidates to move on from Detroit, and he qualifies as a rental player since he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Vanek went from being bought out by the Wild in the offseason to establishing himself as the most productive scoring option on the Wings -- he has 15 goals in 47 games. It'll be interesting to see who would come to the Motor City in a Vanek deal; based on how this season has played out, a power-play defenseman should rank near the top of the team's wish list.
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Last 7 Games
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