Wednesday, March 1, 2017
NHL trade review: Panthers acquire Vanek from Wings
The Cats are trying to make the playoffs. They sit one point out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern conference. They have 68 points (a record of 29-23-10). Acquiring a depth forward in Vanek can help them climb into a spot. "Thomas is a proven scorer in this league who will add some offensive savvy and experience to our young group of forwards," Panthers president of hockey operations Dale Tallon said. "We believe strongly in our group and we're confident that he will help our power play and supplement our core effectively." They had no use for McIlrath, a defenseman they acquired in November. A third round pick is an ok price to pay, especially if they make the playoffs. Vanek, 33, has 38 points (15 goals and 23 assists) in 48 games this season. He has 687 points (331 goals and 356 assists) in 865 career NHL games with the Wings, the Minnesota Wild, the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Wings are sellers this year. Forward Tomas Jurco was dealt to Chicago. Defenseman Brendan Smith went to the NY Rangers. Trading Vanek, an upcoming UFA, isn't a surprise. McIlrath won't be in their future plans, but can play a little this year as a replacement for Smith. The third rounder is currently the Cats third rounder, but if they make the playoffs, it turns into the Arizona Coyotes third round pick, which should be 62nd overall. McIlrath, 24, had 1 point (a goal) in 5 games for the Cats this season. He had 1 game with the Rangers, but didn't record a point. He has 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists) in 43 career NHL games with the Cats and the Rangers. He has 94 career NHL PIM. He also had 4 points (a goal and 3 assists) in 18 games for Springfield (AHL) this season. He also had 4 games without a point for Hartford (AHL) this season.