Saturday, May 31, 2014

Vanek Watch: Cleanout Day

Photo: Eric Bolte/USA Today
This morning, the Montreal Canadiens had their team cleanout day following their elimination Thursday night by the New York Rangers. Thomas Vanek was one of the first to meet with the media, and dropped some interesting lines today, via @habsgirl4life.

Vanek was not seriously injured in this postseason, as some eluded to. His lack of production this postseason has been a hot topic around the league, and some have said he has to be hiding a serious injury. He wasn't.

Vanek pretty much put his poor postseason performance on the fact his linemates were taken away from him. He couldn't find chemistry with his new linemates and his play suffered. Michel Therrien was not name dropped by Vanek today, but he made it sound like he did not like how the head coach handled him.

Now that his season is finished, Vanek can look ahead to free agency. It remains to be seen whether or not Montreal will try and keep Vanek after this postseason. If you are the betting type, odds seem to be favoring no after his talk about the lack of chemistry he had today.

Winning is key to where Vanek signs this summer. He wants to win after suffering through the last couple of seasons in Buffalo before being traded to New York and then Montreal this season. Minnesota is in a position to both win in the immediate future and has the cap space to sign Vanek. It will be interesting to see if Minnesota actually makes a run at the former Gopher, after GM Chuck Fletcher indicated earlier this month that he would like to save cap space so he can lock up his young stars.

Saddle up folks. The next month and change will be non stop Vanek talk, especially here in Minnesota. The locals love to see the old Gophers come home. Question is, will he?

Vanek Watch is an ongoing series on the Team of 18,001 for the 2013-14 season.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell 

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