I think the Thomas Vanek reaching free agency saga was going to end this way regardless of who he was playing for – but Vanek is finally “home” with the Minnesota Wild.
After being traded by the Buffalo Sabres after their relationship soured over the rebuild situation, Thomas Vanek was right back into a rebuild with the New York Islanders.
He wasn’t on the island very long before he was shipped off to Montreal where he had an impressive run with the Canadiens through the Eastern Conference Finals.
The drama unfolded on July first with the rumors having Thomas Vanek having whittled his choices down to the Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild.
Rumors that I was hearing was that Thomas Vanek wanted a five year deal.
He ultimately signed on with the Wild for just three years and 19.5 million dollars – well short of the five year deal he wanted.
I am sure that Minnesota was first on his list, but Thomas Vanek wanting more stability looked to secondary and tertiary teams that he would be interested in playing for to see if he could get a few more years under contract.
Originally from Austria – Thomas Vanek found home in Minnesota during his NCAA tour. Vanek joined the Minnesota Golden Gophers and won a national championship with the Gophers in 2003. Vanek was named MVP of the Frozen Four tournament in that year.
Minnesota adds the Austrian Sniper as they continue to quietly make splashes in free agency to get closer and closer to not just playoff contention, but Stanley Cup champions.
Can Thomas Vanek be a part of the pieces that the Wild need to unseat the Chicago Blackhawks and other Western Conference powerhouses?
With a flurry of activity with Western Conference Teams picking up big names – when will the Eastern Conference regain its credit as the stronger division?