Says The Athletic:
The Capitals waited until the very last minute to pull off arguably the most interesting deal of the deadline period sending Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik and a first- and second-round pick to Detroit for talented but streaky forward Anthony Mantha, who is under contract at $5.7 million through 2023-24.
It’s clear that the Caps, who seem to have rediscovered the Stanley Cup swagger that has been absent the past two years since their seminal Cup win in 2018, had grown disenchanted with Vrana and wanted a winger who could bolster the top nine and help out the power play.
Mantha, who has never played in an NHL playoff game, has that capability. Vrana, 25, is a year and a half younger than Mantha so he fits nicely in the wheelhouse for the young but slowly emerging Red Wings.
It’s unquestionably a big risk for Washington GM Brian MacLellan but it speaks to a take-no-prisoners attitude for the Caps that began with the hiring of head coach Peter Laviolette last summer. As one NHL executive noted, Vegas acquired Tomas Tatar from Detroit for a first-, a second- and a third-round pick in the hopes he was a Cup difference-maker. “Hopefully this works out better (for Washington),” the executive said. The Capitals also added veteran forward Michael Raffl.