|Photo: Dan Hickling/Olean Times Herald|
While Vanek is not technically a free agent yet (he will be at 11:00 am tomorrow), he can be courted by other teams. Minnesota has been pushing hard for his services since the courting period began. Russo has been reporting for days that the Wild are interested in bringing him here on a short term deal (2-3 years perhaps). If Vanek is just looking for a payday, Minnesota will not be the team to give it to him.
This past year, Vanek scored 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) while playing for three different teams (Sabres, Islanders, and Canadiens). While his postseason struggles were well documented (10 points in 17 postseason games), Vanek was still one of the top ten even strength scorers in the entire league last year. The Wild badly need a guy who can find twine while playing five on five.
The interest from both sides has to be mutual. Vanek seemingly wants to get a chance to play at home, and the Wild would love to bring in one of the better scorers in the NHL. But at the end of the day, it will come down to if Vanek wants to get the most money possible or if he wants to take a discount to play for a pretty decent team here.
Check back tomorrow when Vanek Watch will more than likely reach its long awaited conclusion.
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