Panthers make a move, acquire Thomas Vanek from Red Wings

Scott W. Grau  Icon Sportswire

ONE MILBURY: The Red Wings get usable assets moving forward while the Panthers get one of the top offensive trade targets on the market for their playoff push.

The Ott trade comes on the heels of the Red Wings sending defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers for a pair of draft picks and it is unlikely to be their last trade.

Thomas Vanek is on the move again.

In 48 games with Detroit this season Vanek totaled 15 goals and 23 assists. He has played just 43 games and averaged 13:01 of ice-time per-contest.

The Panthers now have 68 points in 62 games, one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

He's used to being on the move by now: Florida becomes his sixth different team since the start of the 2013-14 season. "It certainly isn't", Vanek said. Ott has appeared in 55 playoff games, including three consecutive seasons of postseason play with the Blues prior to this season.

He sounds eager to be a teammate of Jagr. The team held him out of their lineup Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks as a precaution, and he now finds himself going from a team sitting in last place in the East to a secure spot in the playoff race on a Canadiens team sitting in first place in the Atlantic Division. He is in the previous year of his current contract with an $800,000 cap hit and will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Rangers (40-20-2) now occupy the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but sit just one point out of third and two out of second in the Metropolitan Division.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin continued to beef up his bottom-six forwards ahead of Wednesday's deadline, trading for Los Angeles Kings fourth-line left-winger Dwight King.

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