According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the deal sees defenceman Dylan McIlrath sent to Detroit in addition to a third-round draft pick in 2017. Detroit will also pick up half of Vanek’s $2.6-million salary and cap hit.
Vanek, a pending unrestricted free agent, has 15 goals and 38 points this season. The 33-year-old signed a one-year deal with Detroit last summer.
The veteran said he’s looking forward to helping Florida’s playoff push—and to playing alongside the legendary Jaromir Jagr.
“Him and Mario [Lemieux] actually were my idols growing up, so to be on a team with [Jagr] will be amazing for me,” Vanek told the Hockey Central panel following Wednesday’s trade. “I was a little kid in Austria and I was a big Penguins fan when I was young, so I was watching those guys, and to be on the same team with [Jagr] now will be fun.”
McIlrath, 24, played just five games with the Panthers this season before Wednesday’s deadline trade, scoring once. The depth defenceman has tallied three goals and two assists over his 43 career NHL games, mostly with the New York Rangers.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Detroit is now “done for the day.”
“There will be no more trades out of the Red Wings this afternoon,” Shannon said, adding that Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening—two players rumoured to be trade possibilities—will stay put.
Detroit established itself as a deadline seller, as the franchise’s long run of playoff appearances will likely come to an end this year with the club looking ahead to the future.
Blueliner Brendan Smith was dealt to the Rangers on Tuesday.