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Red Wings deal Mantha to Capitals for Vrana, Panik along with picks

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Two months before the season started, Detroit Red Wings’ general manager Steve Yzerman signed power forward Anthony Mantha to a four-year contract extension.

Just over six months later, Yzerman dealt the 26-year-old Mantha to the Washington Capitals on Monday in a deal that just beat the NHL trade deadline.

In return, the rebuilding Red Wings got former Windsor Spitfires’ forward Richard Panik, forward and former Washington first-round pick Jakub Vrana along with the Capitals’ first-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft and the team’s second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

The 6-foot-5, 234-pound Mantha, who was Detroit’s first-round pick in 2013, had struggled offensively this season with 11 goals and 21 points this season in 42 games along with 17 penalty minutes and was a minus 14.

The 25-year-old Vrana has also struggled offensively this season with 11 goals and 25 points in 39 games and will be a restricted free agent after this season.

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The 30-year-old Panik, who has appeared in over 500 games, is in the second year of a four-year contract with a cap hit of $2.75 million through 2022-23.

Monday’s move was the fourth trade in four days for Yzerman leading up to Monday’s deadline. On Sunday, the Red Wings acquired centre Hayden Verbeek and Ottawa’s fifth-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft from the Montreal Canadiens for veteran defenceman Jon Merrill.

On Saturday, Detroit acquired a fourth-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft in a three-way trade involving Tampa Bay and Columbus.

The Red Wings acquired defenceman David Savard from Columbus and then sent him and defenceman Brian Lashoff to Tampa Bay for a fourth-round pick. Detroit retained a portion of Savard’s contract to make the deal possible for salary cap reasons with Tampa sending its first-round pick in 2021 and a third-round pick in 2022 to Columbus to complete the deal.

The Savard trade followed a Friday deal by Detroit that sent veteran defenceman Patrik Nemeth to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round draft pick in 2022.

The moves leave Yzerman with 12 selections in this year’s NHL Draft. He now has a pair of first-round picks, a trio of picks in the second round and two picks in each of the third, four and fifth rounds. He’s now also accumulated 10 picks for the 2022 NHL Draft.

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