Thomas Vanek scratched vs. Jets

Updated: March 5, 2014, 1:22 AM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

With Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline looming, the New York Islanders scratched coveted trade target Thomas Vanek from Tuesday's 3-2 win over the host Winnipeg Jets.

The decision protects their most valuable trade chip in the event of injury, which could derail any potential deal worth making.

Vanek, a pending unrestricted free agent, is one of the most sought-after players on the market, with multiple teams reportedly interested in acquiring him to add some offense for a playoff push.

The Islanders dealt their other pending unrestricted free agent, defenseman Andrew MacDonald, to the Flyers for a pair of picks and a prospect Tuesday.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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