Detroit Red Wings send Anthony Mantha to Washington in blockbuster deal

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

It was a relatively quiet day on the trade front for the Detroit Red Wings until just a few minutes before the NHL’s 3 pm Est. Deadline.

Leading up to the trade deadline, Detroit Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman had been a busy man.  The Red Wings flipped defenseman Patrik Nemeth to Colorado for a future fourth-round pick.

Yzerman followed that up by moving Brian Lashoff and David Savard (via Columbus) to Tampa Bay in exchange for a fourth-round pick.  The Detroit Red Wings also moved Jon Merrill to Montreal for a fifth-round pick and low-end prospect Hayden Verbeek.

Shockingly, Yzerman didn’t come to an agreement to trade Luke Glendening, Marc Staal, or Jonathan Bernier, but just before the clock expired, the Red Wings completed a blockbuster deal.

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The Detroit Red Wings traded Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals.

It became apparent Mantha needed a fresh start.  Earlier in the year head coach, Jeff Blashill sat Mantha making him a healthy scratch; it was a way to try and motivate the 6-foot-5 forward.  It’s not the first time Mantha had this sort of treatment; early on in his career, Blashill often moved him up and down the lineup in hopes of motivating the young man.

Mantha will get a fresh start with a playoff-bound team that is currently tied atop the East Division with the New York Islanders, both just two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The return for Mantha is staggering.  Yzerman did a wonderful job with this trade.  The Detroit Red Wings will receive forwards Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, and a first-round pick in 2021 and a second-round pick in 2022.

This deal was built around the two draft choices, but Vrana is no slouch. The 25-year old winger is a pending restricted free agent who has recorded 11 goals and 25 points this season for the Capitals.  In comparison, Mantha sits at 11 goals and 21 points.

In 302 career games, Mantha has recorded 95 goals, 99 assists totaling 194 points averaging over 17 minutes of ice over his career.  Vrana has recorded 76 goals, 81 assists totaling 157 points in 284 career NHL games while averaging less than 14-minutes of ice-time.

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The Red Wings are absorbing the contract of Richard Panik, who is owed $1.625-million per season through the 2022-23 season.  Panik has three goals and nine points in 36 games this season, playing just over 11-minutes per night as a fourth-line winger.