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Canadiens acquire Thomas Vanek in trade with Islanders

New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) looks back at teammate Thomas Vanek (26), of Austria, after scoring in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Uniondale, N.Y., Sunday, March 2, 2014.
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) looks back at teammate Thomas Vanek (26), of Austria, after scoring in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Uniondale, N.Y., Sunday, March 2, 2014. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens made a major move at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring winger Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders.

Montreal sent forward prospect Sebastien Collberg a 2014 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-rounder to the Islanders for Vanek, who was seen as the best rental player available.

Vanek, who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, instantly becomes the Habs’ leading scorer with 53 points. The 30-year-old is in the final season of a US$50-million, seven-year contract.

This is the second time Vanek has been traded this season. The Islanders gave up winger Matt Moulson along with first- and second-round picks to get Vanek in late October.

Moulson, also set to be a free agent, was reportedly also dealt at the deadline to the Minnesota Wild from Buffalo.

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Collberg was Montreal’s second-round pick (33rd overall) in the 2012 draft.