Mantha, 26, was a 2013 first-round pick of the Red Wings and has scored 95 goals and 99 assists for 194 points in 302 career games. The winger just signed a new four-year deal with the Red Wings in November; Mantha is under contract through 2023-24 at a cap hit of $5.7 million.
Detroit is poised to miss the postseason for the fifth-straight season -- following the franchise's record 25-year playoff streak. Mantha has long been viewed as a core piece to build around, alongside captain Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. However general manager Steve Yzerman is embarking on a full rebuild, and sources say in recent weeks became open to the idea of trading Mantha.
Vrana, 25, was a first-round draft pick of the Capitals in 2014. He played in 23 of 24 games during their 2018 Stanley Cup run. Vrana scored a career-high 25 goals in 69 games last season and has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 39 games this season. The Prague native is on the second year of a two-year bridge deal that pays him $3.35 million annually.
Panik, 30, joins his sixth team in his nine-year NHL career. The winger has hit the 20-goal mark only once in his career and now reunites with Yzerman, who was Panik's first GM when he broke into the league with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012-13. Panik is under contract through 2022-23, in a deal that pays him $2.75 million annually.
The Capitals also traded for Philadelphia's Michael Raffl on Monday, for more forward depth.
Through 42 games, Washington is 27-11-4 -- good for first place in the East Division. However, the Islanders are right behind Washington, also with 58 points, and the Penguins in third place with 56.