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.
Vanek is indeed scratched tonight for #Isles, as @FriedgeHNIC noted earlier. — Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) March 4, 2014