The Detroit Red Wings today acquired a third-round draft pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Brendan Smith.
Florida is hoping Vanek can produce a similar shot in the arm offensively, but the veteran has a history of not producing as well in the playoffs (20 goals and 14 assists in 63 games). He was playing in the AHL at the time for the trade and made just five appearances for the Panthers.
Detroit is also picking up half of the $2.6 million that Vanek is due this season, making this as much a salary-cap move as it is a rebuilding move.
Both players are free agents at the end of the year.
"We made our team deeper as far as a balanced attack goes", said Dale Tallon, Florida's president of hockey operations who is believed to have swung the deal with Detroit GM Ken Holland.
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The Rangers reportedly had high hopes of landing coveted Kevin Shattenkirk, but the St. Louis Blues sent the power play stud defenseman to the Washington Capitals late Monday night. He's a real good addition to our team without interrupting our team and not giving up a young prospect.
The 33-year-old Vanek has resurrected his career with Detroit this season with 38 points in 48 games after two straight lackluster seasons with the Minnesota Wild.
Expect the team to make more moves ahead of the trade deadline at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, with other players including Tomas Vanek possible on the trading block.
A two-time 40-goal scorer, Vanek has 687 points (331 goals, 356 assists) in 865 regular-season games during 12 seasons with the Red Wings, Wild, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens.
"To be on a team with him will be unbelievable for me", said Vanek, a native of Austria who was the No. 5 overall pick of Buffalo in the 2003 draft.