NHL / Sports

Custance: should Vanek return to the Wings? Depends on the term(s)

From Kuklas Korner
March 20, 2017 - 2:40pm
ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only entry in which he discusses every NHL team's "toughest free agent decision" for this upcoming summer, and Custance suggests that the Red Wings have to decide whether to bring an alumnus back into the fold: Detroit Red Wings F Thomas Vanek (Panthers) Red Wings GM Ken Holland cleared out his unrestricted free agents at the trade deadline, so we’re cheating here a bit. But Vanek and the Red Wings both appeared genuinely interested in having the veteran winger in Detroit next season and beyond. It’s the "beyond" part that gets a little dicey. Vanek is an elite offensive player who was used just about perfectly by coach Jeff Blashill, but isn’t necessarily a guy you want to pay for too many more seasons now that he's 33 years old. Verdict: Bring him back to Detroit if he’ll sign on the cheap for three or fewer seasons. If not, thank him for the 48 games served and part ways. Custance continues, and if I may be honest, I'm leaning toward "not bringing Vanek back" at this point, despite the magic he made happen.

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