COLUMBUS, OHIO --- The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired left wing Thomas Vanek from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forwards Jussi Jokinen and Tyler Motte, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Vanek, 34, has registered 350 goals and 388 assists for 738 points with 513 penalty minutes and a cumulative +8 plus/minus rating, along with 133 power play goals and 55 game-winning goals, in 946 career NHL games with the Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres. He has collected 17-24-41 and 28 penalty minutes in 61 games with Vancouver this season.
"Scoring goals has been a challenge at times for our team this season, so we are pleased to add Thomas Vanek to our lineup," said Kekalainen. "He has been a proven goal scorer in this league for many years, has been proficient on the power play, and we believe he can help our team in both of those areas."
A native of Vienna, Austria, Vanek has scored at least 17 goals in each of his 13 NHL seasons with two 40-goal campaigns (2006-07, 2008-09), two 30-goal campaigns (2007-08, 2010-11) and six 20-goal campaigns. He also scored 10 or more power play goals on seven occasions, including 2008-09 when he led the NHL in that category with 20. His best season was 2006-07 when he earned NHL Second Team All-Star honors after racking up a career-high 43-41-84 and a League-leading +47 plus/minus rating in 82 games.
The 6-2, 214-pounder was selected by Buffalo with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. He spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota from 2002-04 and earned NCAA West Second Team All-American honors in 2003-04 before a one-year stint with the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans preceded his NHL debut with the Sabres in 2005-06. That year, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team after tallying 25-23-48 and 72 penalty minutes in 81 games. He would go on to spend eight-plus seasons with the Sabres and ranks among the franchise's all-time leaders in goals (254, fifth), points (497, 10th), game-winning goals (41, fourth) and power play goals (106, fourth).
After combining for 27-41-68 and 46 penalty minutes in 78 games with the Sabres, Islanders and Canadiens in 2013-14, he spent the next two seasons in Minnesota, where he picked up 39-54-93 and 59 penalty minutes in 154 outings. He split last season between Detroit and Florida, collecting 17-31-48 and 22 penalty minutes in 68 contests.
THOMAS VANEK FULL STATS
Jokinen, 34, has 1-6-7 and 10 penalty minutes in 46 games with the Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers, including 0-1-1 and four penalty minutes in 14 games with Columbus after being claimed off waivers from Los Angeles on January 17. He has registered 187-366-553 and 375 penalty minutes in 937 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Kings, Oilers, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars.
Motte, 22, was acquired by the Blue Jackets from the Chicago Blackhawks in June 2017 as part of the Artemi Panarin-Brandon Saad trade. He tallied 3-2-5 and two penalty minutes in 31 games with the Blue Jackets to raise his career NHL totals to 7-5-12 and 16 penalty minutes in 64 outings. He has added 9-2-11 and 25 penalty minutes in 17 games with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters in 2017-18 and has 21-11-32 and 47 penalty minutes in 65 career AHL games. Motte played at the University of Michigan from 2013-16.
The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they host the Washington Capitals. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. All Blue Jackets games televised on FOX Sports Ohio will also be streamed live via FOX Sports GO. The game may also be heard on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, and online at BlueJackets.com.