The Detroit Red Wings made their big move of the NHL tradeline, moving forward Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a third-round pick.
FLA gives up Dylan McIlrath and a third round pick to DET for Thomas Vanek. DET retains 50 per cent of salary.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2017
Vanek’s trade was entirely expect as part of the Red Wings’ sell-off. With the team near the bottom of the league’s standings, general manager Ken Holland has been trying to get whatever assets he can in return for players who are expected to become free agents this summer. Tomas Jurco was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks last Friday while Brendan Smith went to the New York Rangers on Tuesday afternoon and Steve Ott was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
That said, Vanek was supposed to be the biggest piece of the Wings sale. Instead, he was traded for a third-round pick (the same round pick that Tomas Jurco brought) and a player who has been on waivers this season, while the Wings retained salary (not that salary means much at this point). This is a very bad look for Ken Holland after pulling off a trio of solid deals.
McIlrath is a former first-round pick of the New York Rangers, who was traded by New York to Florida earlier this season. After five games there, he was waived and sent to AHL Springfield. In 43 career games he has five points.
The third-round pick is conditional. If the Panthers make the playoffs, it will be Arizona’s pick. If not, it will be Florida’s.