Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman pulled off a massive deal that was announced approximately a half-hour after the Deadline had passed at 3:00 PM EST yesterday, dealing Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals in exchange for forwards Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, and a 1st round (2021) and 2nd round (2022) draft selections.
And needless to say, Mantha was quite surprised when he got the news. In fact, he literally woke up to the news.
“I actually missed the phone call,” Mantha said Tuesday after the trade was completed. “I woke up to a text saying, ‘Call me ASAP’ from Stevie.
“You just call him right away.”
Mantha then immediately went to RBC Center to collect his gear and bid goodbye to his now-former teammates before traveling to meet his new team.
“It was hard,” Mantha said. “I made my way down to the rink just before they played just to say bye to everyone, grab my gear and off I went already. But obviously it’s guys I’ve been around for the past four to six years, and I made great friends down there. Obviously it’s hard to leave a team, but I’m excited for what’s ahead.”
“It’s hard to leave a team like that, but I have great memories from draft day to my last game,” he said. “It’s going to be memories that are going to live on, and obviously I made some great friends down there. I’ll probably be in Michigan for the summer, so I’ll see those guys again, but from now on I’m a Caps player and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.”
After signing a four-year contract this past summer, Mantha has severely underwhelmed this season, having scored only 11 goals in 42 games. In 302 career NHL games, all with Detroit, he’s tallied 95 goals with 99 assists.
He now joins a team rife with talent and on the verge of what is expected to be another long playoff run, which will be his first experience in the annual postseason.
“I’ll be honest, it’s the first time I got traded in my hockey career, even in junior,” Mantha said. “I’ll just let it be. I’m a pretty chill person, so I think it’s going to be be pretty easy to hang out with a couple guys or whatnot. I’ll just let it be and hopefully it goes by quick.
“I think I can bring a lot of offense over here. The style of play that the Caps play I think I’ll fit just in. Obviously I am excited, I am going to play big-bodied, I am going to shoot a lot of pucks and try to make great plays.”
Mantha will make his debut tonight for the Capitals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
– – Quotes via Helene St. James of The Detroit Free Press Link – –