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Thomas Vanek a healthy scratch for Islanders before trade deadline

Being scratched before Tuesday's game in Winnipeg could indicate Thomas Vanek's stay with the Islanders could be a short one. (David Hahn/Icon SMI) Being scratched before Tuesday's game in Winnipeg could indicate Thomas Vanek's stay with the Isles could be a short one. (David Hahn/Icon SMI)

By Nick Stoico

New York Islanders' winger Thomas Vanek was a healthy scratch tonight against Winnipeg in what could potentially be his last evening with the team.

Vanek, who is third on the team in points with 44 since being traded to New York on Oct. 27, is undoubtedly the Islanders' top trading asset and with the trade deadline rapidly approaching (Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET), and it is easy to speculate that GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano would prefer to keep him healthy. Vanek is an unrestricted free agent this summer and has verbally expressed interest in testing the market. He could be a top-six forward on any team willing to make a deal with Snow and it would seem that a deal is certainly on the horizon.

In 60 games this season, including 13 with Buffalo, Vanek has 21 goals and 32 assists.

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