Thomas Vanek’s time with the Vancouver Canucks was a short one. The team has shipped the veteran winger to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen. Vanek signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Canucks ahead of the season and has been productive this year, registering 17 goals and 24 assists in 61 games. “We wanted to get picks back for Vanek but they weren’t available to us so we did the next best thing by getting a young forward that our scouts like,” general manager Jim Benning said. Monday marks the third time Vanek has been traded on deadline day. The only player ever to be dealt four times at the trade deadline was Alan May in 1988, 1989, 1994 and 1995. The 34-year-old Vanek, drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, has also played for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and Florida Panthers. Jokinen is set to join his fourth team already this season, playing 14 games for the Edmonton Oilers, 18 games for the Los Angeles Kings and 14 games with the Blue Jackets before his trade to the Canucks. Meanwhile, Motte has played in 31 games so far this season with the Blue Jackets, scoring three goals and adding two assists.
After spending his team’s first off-season as a franchise stockpiling draft picks, Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is using them for the Knights’ unexpected playoff push. The Knights acquired forward Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings for three draft picks on Monday. The Red Wings will receive Vegas’ 2018 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick that originally belonged to the New York Islanders and Vegas’ 2021 third-round pick. It was a steep price for the 27-year-old, but one that McPhee was willing to pay considering Las Vegas’ stunning debut season. The Knights are at the top of the Western Conference in their first season. “It was easy because when we acquired all of those picks we said we’re either going to use those picks to draft players or to acquire players and this is an example of acquiring a player,” McPhee said. “The picks that we gave up are spread out over four drafts so we have lots of picks and to spread them out over four drafts was not a problem for us. It was the way we were hoping to do a deal today.” Tatar adds both scoring and depth to Vegas’ lineup. Tatar has 16 goals and 12 assists this season and is under contract through the 2020-21 season. He’s topped the 20-goal mark in each of the past three seasons and had 19 goals in his first full season in the league in 2013-14. “We went into the deadline with one thing circled on our board, or at least this part of the deadline, and that was adding one more top-nine forward and we accomplished that,” McPhee said. “He’s only 27. He’s quick, he’s competitive and he can score. He’s scored 20 goals a season over the last three years and he’s on pace to do it again. We didn’t want to trade draft picks for someone that isn’t going to be here after the summer and he has three years left on his contract, we’re happy about that.”
The Edmonton Oilers have traded forward Patrick Maroon to the the New Jersey Devils for a third-round draft pick and prospect J.D. Dudek. The 29-year-old Maroon carries a $1.5 million cap hit and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. In 57 games this season, he has 14 goals and 16 assists. Maroon scored three goals and had five assists in 13 playoff games last season as the Oilers reached the second round before losing to the Anaheim Ducks. He was acquired by Edmonton in a trade deadline deal roughly two years ago from the Ducks in exchange for defenceman Martin Gernat and a fourth-round pick. The St. Louis, Mo., native is in his eighth season in the NHL after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Dudek was a sixth-round draft pick in 2014 and is currently in his third season with Boston College. Dudek has six goals and 11 assists 33 games this season.