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Thomas Vanek Signs With Detroit

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings continued to make moves today. After re-signing Darren Helm and Alexey Marchenko, the Red Wings went out and obtained Frans Nielsen as an unrestricted free agent.

However, after talks appeared to go south with a few remaining forwards, the Wings turned their attention to the secondary market and picked up Thomas Vanek. The 32 year old Vanek spent the last 2 seasons in Minnesota, but recently had his contract bought out by the Wild after a disappointing 18 goal/41 point season. Vanek never reached the offensive levels in Minnesota that he had in Buffalo or New York, but he still put up over .5 PPG no matter where he was.

At 1 year and only $2.6M, this is a good low risk/high reward signing for the Red Wings. He's got the ability to provide offense on a team that had trouble scoring, and if he performs well and the Wings are out of it at the trade deadline, they might be able to swap him for picks.

What this means in the bigger picture is that there's likely a trade coming. The Wings have added 2 forwards to replace the 2 they lost (Brad Richards and Pavel Datsyuk), and have others waiting in the wings. I believe something will happen soon, and that it will involve a trade for a defenseman. I have nothing else to base this on other than gut speculation, so don't ask me what they're going for. But I don't believe the Wings are done yet.