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Report: Red Wings to Bring Back Thomas Vanek on a One-Year Deal

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Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Things just got real interesting for PP specialist, right-shot, and iffy 5-on-5 player Martin Frk, as the older, better version of him just agreed to come back to Detroit on the five-month tour plan:

The 34-year old former 5th overall draft pick (in 2003) Vanek spent last season in Vancouver before being traded to Columbus at the deadline for Jussi Jokinen (a throw-in) and Tyler Motte (a former fourth round pick). He disappointed for Columbus down the stretch and will be likely be looking to prove not only that he’s worth picking up, but that he’s worth committing to on a longer term.

Numbers-wise, Vanek becomes essentially the 12th forward on the Wings roster (counting Henrik Zetterberg, Luke Witkowski, and the three as-of-yet unsigned RFAs in Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Andreas Athananasiou). Depending on the status of Witkowski and Ken Holland’s desire to carry seven or eight defensemen, this would leave one or two open forward spots from a glance... although it definitely feels like Martin Frk and his buryable cap hit is kind of superfluous to the roster right now.

With the expected signings of Green and Bernier also hitting today, the Wings’ cap space currently sits at approximately $16.5M, most of which will be spent on re-signing the RFAs with the remainder to go to two roster spots that will be filled by low cap hit players.

The deal can’t officially be announced until noon today.