The Florida Panthers fortified their offense for a playoff run, acquiring veteran forward Thomas Vanek from the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
The Panthers, who entered the NHL's trade deadline day one point of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, shipped defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a conditional 2017 third-round draft pick to Detroit in exchange for Vanek.
"Thomas is a proven scorer in this league who will add some offensive savvy and experience to our young group of forwards," said Panthers President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon. "We believe strongly in our group and we're confident that he will help our power play and supplement our core effectively."
The 33-year-old Vanek scored a team-high 15 goals despite missing 13 games this season for the Red Wings, who are last in the Atlantic Division and in serious jeopardy of having their 25-year playoff run -- the third-longest streak in NHL history -- come to an end.
"It was a good fit and I really enjoyed my time there ... but I'm really excited to go to Florida," Vanek told the NHL Network.
Vanek, in his first season with Detroit, scored 331 goals and amassed 687 points in 865 games over 12 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild and Red Wings.
A two-time 40-goal scorer with Buffalo who netted at least 20 goals in each of his first 10 seasons, Vanek provides another reliable option for Florida, winners of nine of its last 13 games.
The trade also gives Vanek a chance to play with his "idol," Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr, the all-time No. 2 points leader in league history with 1,903.
"To be on a team with him will be amazing for me," said Vanek, a native of Austria who was the No. 5 overall pick of Buffalo in the 2003 draft.
McIlrath, a first-round selection (No. 10 overall) of the New York Rangers in 2010, was acquired by Florida in November but appeared in only five games for the Panthers, scoring one goal.
The 6-foot-5, 236-pounder played in a career-high 34 games with the Rangers in 2015-16, notching two goals and two assists.