The Detroit Red Wings are expected to officially enter the seller's market this month, and Thomas Vanek is one of their most coveted available players.
Vanek, 33, signed a one-year contract with Detroit last off-season and understands, given the team's performance this season and position in the standings, that he could be shipped out by the March 1 trade deadline.
"I signed a one-year deal, so it can happen," Vanek told the Detroit Free Press. "But I am focused on putting a couple more wins together and get ourselves in the picture and make it hard for Kenny (Red Wings GM Ken Holland) to do something and hopefully stay here and make a run with this team.
"I think it's a good team with a lot of upside. There's a lot of young guys playing some good minutes and you can see they are getting better. Our veteran leadership is great. I like the community here. My boys, my family likes it. It's definitely a place that's been comfortable right away."
Given the market and the upcoming expansion draft in June, the Red Wings are unlikely to sign Vanek to an extension during the season, despite mutual interest in having him back next season.
The Red Wings could revisit signing Vanek as an unrestricted free agent in July after moving him to a playoff contender this season.
"There is nothing that I don't like here," Vanek said. "I like the culture, I like the community, I like the city. Everything has been a good fit."
The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins are reportedly among the teams kicking the tires on Vanek.