Red Wings ink Thomas Vanek to a one-year deal

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The hockey world has been buzzing on July 1 with it being the first day of free agency. After having to pull out of the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes, the Detroit Red Wings were forced to go for cheaper and viable options.

Earlier in the day, they signed 32-year-old Frans Nielsen to a six-year contract, likely to be a top-2 centerman in 2016. Also on Friday, the team announced they have agreed to terms with another veteran in Thomas Vanek.

Vanek, 32, logged 41 points for the Minnesota Wild a season ago, a bit low for his standards over his 11-year career. He was bought out by the Wild this off-season. The right-handed shot of Vanek spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Buffalo Sabres and recorded nearly 500 points with them from 2006-13.

Vanek will head into this season making over $4 million, after being paid $1.6 in the buyout. The deal for the Wings gives the vibe of a ‘prove yourself’ deal, nothing too long-term and relatively cost-efficient to a player coming off a down season.