Florida has added the goalscoring winger it wanted for a playoff push.
Vanek, 33, is on a one-year, $2.6 million deal. Detroit’s retaining 50 percent of his salary in this trade, so it’s an affordable pickup for the Panthers.
The Austrian winger should fit nicely into an offensively gifted group that includes Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen. Vanek should also help out on the power play, where he has five markers this season.
“Thomas is a proven scorer in this league who will add some offensive savvy and experience to our young group of forwards,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a release. “We believe strongly in our group and we’re confident that he will help our power play and supplement our core effectively.”
As for the other side of things…
Early analysis has panned GM Ken Holland for his sub-par return for Vanek who — while somewhat flawed — has enjoyed a bounce-back season in Detroit, and has a history for finding the back of the net.