Thomas Vanek will move on to his fifth team in the last four seasons after signing a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
The deal comes one week after the 32-year-old Vanek saw the final year of his deal with the Minnesota Wild bought out by the club.
Detroit was looking for help in their top six and feel they have with Fran Nielsen and now Vanek. Having another right-handed shot up front also helps as well.
Vanek’s stock, however, has fallen quite far the last several years. Once a guy you could pencil in for 25 goals and 60 points, he’s slowly declined. Following a solid 21-goal, 52 point campaign in 2014-15, his first in Minnesota, he found himself a healthy scratch at times last season with the Wild.
Why Detroit? Vanek told TSN he likes the setup the Red Wings have down the middle and it’s a fit where he feels he can succeed playing his game.
“I still know I can score goals in this league for a few more years,” he said.
“We’re hoping we have a motivated athlete,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
Like the Alex Radulov deal with Montreal, it’s a low risk one here for the Red Wings. If it doesn’t work, they can wash their hands of it and maybe attempt to find a taker at the trade deadline if they’re out of the playoff picture.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland entered July 1 with a ton of space to play with and so far has missed out on Steven Stamkos, re-signed Darren Helm (for five years) and Alexey Marchenko, handed Nielsen a six-year, $31.5 million deal and now taken a flyer on Vanek. Probably not how he expected things to go, but there is the potential of a Jimmy Howard trade, which could bring back assets and also free up more room for that pending Petr Mrazek extension.
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