March 25, 2019 | 9:30am ET
VANEK LEAVING OPTIONS OPEN FOR NEXT SEASON
Thomas Vanek, forward
Veteran winger Thomas Vanek is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
He got off to a slow start this season with the Detroit Red Wings, but turned it on after returning from a knee injury in late-November.
Vanek, 35, is contemplating playing another season and could spend one more year with the Red Wings if the right deal presented itself.
“I’ll wait till the summer and see if the right thing comes around,” Vanek told the Detroit Free Press. “I do see a lot of growth on this team. Even though we are a lot of points out, I don’t think this team is that far away.”
According to the Free Press, re-signing Vanek to a one-year deal could be to Detroit’s advantage, as his next deal could be incentive-laden given his age, which could result in a low salary cap hit.
“Most of us have an inner drive to succeed,” Vanek said. “For me, it’s frustrating when you can’t help and you feel you should be doing more. That’s something I take very personal and I still do. I know I can’t produce like I used to, but I still feel like I can produce at a good level and I didn’t for a while. It was very frustrating. But that doesn’t mean you come to the rink and you pout about it or you blame someone else. You practice a little harder, you do the little things a little better and hopefully it turns for you again.”
In 64 games with the Red Wings so far this season, Vanek has registered 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points.