NHL Rumors: Buzz on Thomas Vanek, Luke Glendening Before 2018 Trade Deadline

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2018

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 21: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on December 21, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images

There has been a fair amount of movement leading up to Monday's NHL trade deadline, but there are still several notable players reportedly on the block.

Some of them are superstars who will require significant packages of players and picks to acquire, while others are supporting-cast players who could play a major role down the stretch for contending teams who wouldn't need to surrender a ton of assets.

With time ticking down toward the deadline, here is a look at the latest rumblings surrounding players who could soon be donning new uniforms.

                    

Thomas Vanek

Winger Thomas Vanek sat untouched in free agency for most of previous offseason until the Vancouver Canucks signed him to a low-cost, one-year deal.

That move has paid dividends, as the 34-year-old veteran has registered 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points in 61 games. That puts him second on the team in scoring behind only Rookie of the Year candidate Brock Boeser.

The Austrian is playing for his seventh team in the past five seasons, but he manages to produce offensively wherever he goes.

According to Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 in Vancouver, Vanek could soon move on to his eighth NHL team, as teams are "kicking the tires" on the idea of acquiring him. Even so, Dhaliwal added a deal is "not definite" and put the odds at "50-50."

While Vanek's presence is beneficial to younger forwards such as Boeser and Bo Horvat, there isn't a ton of incentive for the Canucks to keep him since they aren't in the playoff race and Vanek can leave in free agency during the offseason.

Vanek has registered at least 40 points in each of his 13 NHL seasons, and he has been a popular deadline target in recent years.

He has scored 25 or more goals in a season on eight occasions, and he has reached the 40-goal plateau twice, although he hasn't done so since his best days with the Buffalo Sabres.

In 946 career regular-season games, Vanek has 350 goals and 388 assists for 738 points. He also has 34 points in 63 career playoff contests.

Vanek would be more of a secondary scorer on a good team than a go-to guy like he was in Buffalo, but since the price to acquire him likely won't be huge, he makes a lot of sense as a deadline pickup for a team in the playoff mix.

                  

Luke Glendening

Many pieces moved at the deadline won't make too many headlines, but they could do some of the little things a team needs to win a championship.

Detroit Red Wings center Luke Glendening may fit that bill.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, there is increasing interest in Glendening, and the Toronto Maple Leafs could be among the teams in the mix.

Previously, TSN's Frank Seravalli reported that the Leafs offered Detroit a fifth-round pick for Glendening, only for the Red Wings to counter by asking for a second-rounder.

Glendening isn't much of a point producer, as he has registered just eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 48 games this season.

The 28-year-old is an ideal bottom-six forward, though, with strong penalty-killing ability.

Perhaps the one negative is the fact he is signed through 2020-21 at a cap hit of $1.8 million per season, according to NHL Numbers.

That could become an issue for the Leafs or another team if Glendening doesn't fit in well, but it isn't a huge price to pay for a quality checking-line center.

Toronto has all the scoring it needs in its top six with the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander and Co., so adding to the bottom six promises to be a main focus.

Since Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is familiar with Glendening from his time with the Red Wings, the center could have the type of seamless transition Toronto would love as it chases the Stanley Cup.

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