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Columnist: Wild will ‘spend whatever it takes’ to get Vanek

Apr 29, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT

Thomas Vanek Getty Images

While Thomas Vanek is busy trying to help the Montreal Canadiens win their first Stanley Cup since 1993, his impending unrestricted free agency this summer is there tantalizing some teams.

Columnist Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press said Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold will be there waiting for Vanek on July 1 and they won’t be shy about going all-in for him.

“This summer, look for Leipold, the Wild owner, to spend whatever it takes — probably another $40 million or so — to add free agent Thomas Vanek to the roster.”

Vanek, 30, will be cashing in in a big way from someone when he hits free agency. The Wild have long been considered a front-runner to sign him because of his history in Minnesota. Vanek won a national championship at the University of Minnesota in 2003 and his family is from there.

The Wild will have at least one big contract off the books this summer as Dany Heatley‘s $7.5 million cap hit is gone after this season. That frees up a big chunk of change to bring in Vanek or anyone else they might desire.

This is the first time Vanek has reached unrestricted free agency in his career and after numerous seasons of big offense with the Buffalo Sabres, he’s shown the New York Islanders and Canadiens he can do it anywhere.

  1. joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Is this not tampering? You’d think that the Habs would file a complaint with the NHL, especially considering the fact that the Habs are still in the playoffs. Technically Vaneek is not a UFA yet.

    • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      ” NEW YORK (AP) -The NHL fined the Toronto Maple Leafs an undisclosed amount after ruling that coach Ron Wilson was guilty of tampering when he expressed interest in Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin before they reached free agency.”

      “NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced the penalty Wednesday in a news release. Wilson made reference to the Canucks twins during an interview when they were still under contract with the Canucks. Both players reached new deals to stay with Vancouver.”

      • mp1131211 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        How can a team be held accountable for what a local journalist says?

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        Charlie Walters is the columnist who throws (expletive) at the wall and see what sticks.

        However, Minnesota has been and will be the odds on favorite to get him.

    • hockey412 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      It’s just a journalist’s opinion. He wasn’t quoting anyone.

      So funny that the Wild end up with Moulson AND possibly Vanek.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        True! But there is smoke. I expect the Habs to place a call to the NHL office.

        Yeah! It’s not a secret that he has strong ties to Minnesota.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Look for the Wings to go out and do whatever it takes to sign Niskanen.
        Oh uh, did I just get Ken Holland in trouble?

        LOL unreal what goes through some idiots heads huh?

      • plazzman - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Moulson is a UFA after the season so there’s no guarantee he stays with the Wild. That being said, it would be pretty crazy to see them wind up with both of them.

    • pastabelly - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      I didn’t know columnists could tamper?

      The Wild signed those ridiculous 13-year $98 million deals with Suter and Parise. You’d think they’d lay low for a while.

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        I’d say Suter’s play and Parise’s 4 points last night were well worth the $ spent. The $ spent on those two players is worth more than what the roi on the ice is. Their tutelage to the youngsters and putting MN professional hockey back on the map was just as important. Those two guys are a marketing machine for the Wild and a solid core for years to come.

      • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Huh? Suter was played what are probably his worst two back-to-back games of the season last night and Saturday. He looks tired.

        Some Wild fans operate as though Koivu, Suter and Parise are untouchable when it comes to criticism just because they are who the team markets as their *stars* and who are paid the big $$$. It’s kind of amusing… :)

      • bildomatic - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Contracts like these don’t sting until the end… As of today with the Wild in the postseason, selling jerseys and filling the rink it looks like a good deal. We’ll check back in a decade and see if they’re still happy.

    • dueman - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      So now you think, that some columnist giving his opinion of what he thinks the Wild will do, is tampering? Wow….

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        You’re right. But! He could have rec’d that info directly from the owner. It’s worth a call to the NHL office.

      • pastabelly - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        “But! He could have rec’d that info directly from the owner. It’s worth a call to the NHL office.”

        He also could have a tuna sandwich for lunch.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        Tuna sandwich over pasta….. That’s a job for the FBI. I’m on it.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        http://www.bubblews.com/assets/images/news/565146340_1385946271.jpg

      • mjw9326mjw9326 - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM

        I agree. So if I, as a fan, say I would love to have Crosby, Malkin and Vanek on my team, am I guilty of tampering since they are under contract? Maybe the Habs are getting nervous.

    • newgod99 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Why not. The Habs whine about everything else.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Like what? Enlighten us. Did they complain about the goal that was allowed last night in LA? Did the Kings buy off the refs like Montreal was accused of doing? Was the ref an American? Was he English speaking? Maybe he was from LA? There has to be a “stupid” reason other than an interpretation of a rule to refuse a goal? Oh! Wait! SJ didn’t whine! Right? Oh! But wait! They did. OMG!

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        Habs and Pens fans are the worst.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        You spelled “Blues” as “H-a-b-s.” You should get your keyboard fixed.

    • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Do habs fans have to whine about everything?

      Why don’t you call 911 or something. Guess what There are probably at least 10-15 other teams that “will spend whatever it takes” to get him in the off season.

      What is it about Canadiens fans that makes you all such self entitled effin babies?

      I can’t wait until the Bruins steam roll you.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Firstly, I’m not a Habs fan. Steam roll me…. WTF are talking about. Secondly I don’t care that your bruins will steam roll the Habs.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Did you know that the Mayor of Boston called the Boston cops when a fight ensued in the hall way when Nilan punched Linesman on the Bruins bench on his way to the locker room? So, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        it’s ok Joey. It’s ok.

        I was unaware of that, and not knowing the details; that might justify a call to the police. That is assault.

        The linesman was not playing the game. If a Baseball player starting attacking an umpire or a Linebacker went after a Ref I wouldn’t think it odd to call the cops. If one player hit another in the course of game action; not a time to call the cops. got it?

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        oh – read it quickly… Ken Linesman or a Linesman?

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Lol! pepper2011 hahahaha! Nilan hit Linesman not the linesman.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Oh- this? you down played it a bit. The cops probably should have been called on this.

        It actually becomes a very dangerous situation around the 3:30 mark.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM

        I am sure he wan’t trying to have anyone arrested either. Probably extra crowd control. 3 guys can’t be on the ice breaking up fight and in the hallway.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        peppersmarta$$ Here’s another attempt from Boston’s mayor to involve the police;

        On March 13, 1955 Boston police attempted to arrest Richard in the dressing room after the game ended, but were turned back by Canadiens players who barred the door, preventing any arrest.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Keep Trying: As I stated before; attacking a linesman is assault.

        “Following a violent altercation on March 13 in which Richard hit a linesman, NHL president Clarence Campbell suspended him for the remainder of the 1954–55 season, including the playoffs. Montreal fans protested that the suspension was too severe; the team’s largely francophone fan base claimed the length of the suspension was motivated by Richard’s French Canadian ethnicity. Outside of Montreal, however, the suspension was seen as justified and, if anything, too short”. – Wiki

        Imagine that Habs fans feeling cheated, yet everyone else thinks they didn’t get enough.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        What did Habs fans do?

        They Rioted.

        This is a great little read on the self entitlement and self awareness of Habs fans:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Riot

        This clearly is not a new thing.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Random but hot girl banging on the glass last night is now trending on twitter. #ladyinpink @snowflakenelsen I believe.

      Vanek may take a home town discount if he sees thus girl… Married or not. Easy on the eyes

    • mjw9326mjw9326 - Apr 30, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      The columnist wrote that, not the owner. Vesides, everyone has already heard that he supposedly wants to go to Minnesota, because he is from there and his friend Jason Pominvile is on that team.
      If they get him, he can likely help them. Maybe he just did not click with NY. He did pretty good for the Sabres over the years, Many of us who are long suffering (thanks, Regier) Sabres fans miss him.

  2. freeigwebuike - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Can he come today? We could use him for game 7 against the Avs…

  3. runhigh24 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Giving big money to wingers over 30 based largely on their goal scoring ability has the potential to go badly very quick. Just look at the Heatley and Gaborik contracts. Once the goals dry up as the player ages so does the vast majority of his value.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      But the cap keeps going up and up where these “bad contracts” even out and become good deals

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        legit point

  4. lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    No, this is not tampering. Journalists can write whatever they want. Leopold hasn’t directly said he is going after Vanek, but reading between the lines of what he says, you can see it’s Vanek he is talking about. It’d be nice to add him to the fold & we need a pure goal scorer. A top 6 of Koivu-Parise-Coyle & Granlund-Vanek-Pommer just sounds sick. A 3rd line of Haula-Fonzie-Nino is both a shutdown line and can score. Defense needs to be addressed as well. Niskanin would be nice as he is a solid talent & “one of us”. Unfortunately if we blow our wad on Vanek it will hinder signing a top D-man/goalie. Remember, we also need to resign: Nino, Fonaine, Brodin, Granlund, Keumper, & Haula in the next couple years. My math might be a little fuzzy, but after our cap clearance and resigning our players we should have 12-15 million to play with. Go get em Fletch.

    • hockey412 - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      It would be crafty, though, to use the media to send those signals…I wonder if they do that.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        That’s the angle I was thinking about. Why would this article come out now? Would this article come out when the Wild are a little more than 24 hours from a game 7? Where there is smoke there is fire? I think the Habs GM should be upset, and he should get on the phone with the league asap.

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        There has been speculation leading back to last year about the Wild’s intent to go after Vanek. If you read Russo@Startribune it’s clear that all the writers are & have been speculating this move. Does that mean the front office gives them insider info? Com’on are you that gullible?

        He has MN ties, lives here, and is the player the Wild need to take the next step. I call it a perfect storm such as Parise and Suter were. Does that mean it’s a done deal? No, there will be 15-20 teams bidding for his services come July. Stay tuned, but I think the Wild have the inside track at the moment pending a Canadians cup run.

      • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Teams do that all the time–in all the pro league’s… They have their *plants* There’s nothing improper about it. The league office would kick your azz and send you out the door missing a shoe if you were a Habs official and went to them whining about what a columnist *speculated on* in his/her column.

        Let’s say the Wild are deciding to trade a popular but declining player like Koivu. They’ll want to soften up the fan base and prepare them for the idea that he may be on his way out so they’re not hit cold turkey and have a backlash. What they’ll do is go to their plant and discretely tip them off so the plant can run with a story that Koivu’s been great–but maybe on the decline and the team might be wise to trade him–for say a top 4 right-handed defenseman. People believe what they read and the next thing you know every jack-hole at the deer camp is talking about how Koivu is crap and needs to be traded for a d-man… ;)

        The bottom line: Look for a new top line next season of Vanek-Granny-Poms.

  5. joeyashwi - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    This is a columnist saying this, not the team, so no this isn’t tampering. As a Wild fan I would love to see Vanek here but not at the price it will take to get him. There are still other areas that need to be improved and the cup is won with depth, not top heavy talent.

    • pastabelly - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      I agree with this Wild fan. You will win a cup when you develop your own depth. You’re not too far away either. While the franchise may have “needed” to pay $98 million each for Parise and Suter, it doesn’t need another deal like that. It’s a poor way to build a team.

      • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Its actually not a “poor” way to develop a team… It’s an expensive route for the owner.

        When your connected to the Johnson money and aren’t losing cash yearly in your hobbie (owning the Wild)… I don’t see how Leopold is losing in bringing Vanek in.

        GM Fletcher may not want Vanek for those terms but this is yet to be seen till summer.

        I personally think Vanek at anything over 5 years is asking for trouble. Would rather send Dumba and this years first, plus other prospects to Carolina for Skinner if theyre willing to play ball.

        Core of the Wild is skilled and young… Keep it that way

  6. montrealbbr - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Why would any hockey player ever pick Minnesota over playing in Montreal? Especially after they win the cup this year.

    • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Because of fans like you……

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Montreal, the be all end all of NHL hockey. Also, the same team who is hated by 90% of Canadians outside of Montreal.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        90%… Really! Do you care to name your source?

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Every Canadian I have ever talked hockey with. From BC to Ontario. At least 200 of them and they all tell me that no can stand the Canadians outside of Quebec. Seems fitting to go right to the source and ask, eh?

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Wow! 200 people out of 38.8 million. Hell of sampling there buddy. You should clean horse stalls before going into survey sampling. Seems like you’re pretty good at shoveling s**t.

      • valoisvipers - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Joey, you are on a roll.Great stuff! LOL

      • mp1131211 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Joey joey joey… you were doing good there until 1) you made a mistake about stats. It’s called extrapolation. It is how nearly every single stat you see about large populations is made. Its valid as a method, though not sure his study holds up seeing as how these questions usually come up at a pub. and 2) you brought in your alter ego to back you up.

    • sixchr - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Because Montreal has been the model of the NHL since they lost their exclusive rights to pretty much every good player in the league.

    • purpleguy - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Lets see, taxes, MN is his off-season home, his wife is from MN, he went to college in MN, his best friend Pominville plays for the Wild, he wouldn’t be under a constant microscope in MN, and, well, taxes.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        He’s was also born in Austria, so the allure of playing for the Canadiens probably isn’t what it might be with North American born players.

        Habs also probably can’t afford him if they want to have a full team. PK is gonna get paid 7m+, Markov should stay about the same 5m+, Gionta too 5m+- maybe even slight raises. Eller too. That is 17m/22m available, and leaves you with 5 D men. I guess if you buyout Briere… but that kind of leaves no money for Gallagher and Galchenyuk the following year.

        That Emelin deal looks worse and worse; unless they deal PK- this team is heading for a Cap mess even with the steal of a deal they got Pacioretty to sign.

    • tved12 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      For one, if they don’t speak french they may get run out of town…

      • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        LOL. That about sums it up…

      • tved12 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        I mean, how can such a nose in the air, pompous fan base wonder why some players wouldn’t play for their team? You literally ran a coach out of town and your team had to apologize because the guy couldn’t speak french. That’s tolerance right there…

  7. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I’m interested to see what the numbers on this deal end up being. It certainly seems like Vanek has his mind set on Minnesota given all of the connections there, but does that translate to a “hometown” discount? He’ll definitely be looking for a substantial raise over his previous deal, and I wonder if he asks for more than Parise/Suter/Heatley – with the cap increasing $5M or so plus with all of the contracts coming off, I could see him asking for big money on a shorter term, say $56mm over 7 years….

    • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      The Isles offered him a reported 7yr/53M deal that he declined. Vanek reportedly acknowledged at the time that he might not see another offer like that in free agency–and he’s apparently fine with that…

      I’d guess a prospective Wild offer would be on a shorter term–no more than 5 years–at around the same $7.5M to possibly $8M/year. About a $38-$40M deal… I’d support that move in a big way. They need another legit goal scorer and a big, physical top 4 D-man. A Clayton Stoner who can skate–without the turnovers…

      This playoff series has been fun–but win or lose the next game…the team is still a couple of pieces away from making a legit run at the cup. They’ve gained some incredibly valuable playoff experience here and have jelled as a squad in Yeo’s system… NEXT year(and the two years after that)is when the hammer drops, my friends… This years is just the appetizer to that… ;)

  8. bethgoesglobal - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    People have been talking about the Wild going after Vanek for more than a year! There is absolutely nothing “new” in this article!

    This is part of the reason why journalism is a dying profession. Mr. Yerdon and Mr.Walters should both be embarrassed for writing about a subject that is already public knowledge. If you can’t think of anything new to write about or don’t write at all.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Unless you have lived under a rock that is :)

      Clicks are money and comments don’t hurt either but I agree with ya.

    • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Alright all you brainiacs, why would this article come out when the Wild are a little more than 24 hours from a game 7? It wouldn’t be the first time an article is planted by a coach, GM or owner.

  9. flyerspsu - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    im not sure Montreal would want it public that they would be willing to pay so much to keep Vanek, that seems like something that will hurt them come negotiating time

  10. guitarhunterdude - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I saw something above about Jeff Skinner, so I thought I’d put in a request for an Evander Kane trade. I think he’d be much easier to get, while providing similar production.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Kane is all potential, attitude and could become an elite goal scorer but who knows. Kane is in the same division which makes that trade practically impossible and kane if traded will go for top prospects and something proven

      Skinner is equal to kane in a trade but more proven and a lockerroom guy. Skinner over Kane all day and Wild wouldn’t be helping a rival take the trash out

      • guitarhunterdude - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Kane’s a 22-year old former 30 goal scorer who generates shots well and plays physically, but is coming off a rough year and constantly gets crucified by his fanbase. Skinner is obviously more proven, but he’s also the Canes’ golden boy and we won’t be able to get him for less than multiple high-round picks and one of Brodin or Granlund. I think Coyle and a first for Kane would be buying low on a guy with some serious skill and a shoot-first mentality that this team needs more of.

        There’s the potential he could be Setoguchi, but I think it’d be worth the risk if we don’t think there’ll be anything better in the 20’s in this year’s draft. I’d obviously LOVE Skinner, but not for 2014 1st + 2015 2nd + Granlund or Brodin. I’d take Kane for 2014 1st + Coyle or Dumba. Of course, I could be way off in my valuations.

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        No way I give up Coyler for Kane. We need more workhorses like Coyle. We are small. What about Big Buff? He had a down year and seems to be had for less than Kane/Skinner. I like his flexibility playing offense or D. Also, maybe coming home to play he will be more motivated to keep his weight in check?!?

      • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        You hit the nail on the head with the urgent need for more of a *shoot first* mentality for the Wild. Suter and Pommer shoot first–the other’s like to play catch with the puck. That 5 on 3 PP last night was an abomination the way they played catch around the perimeter trying to make the highlight reel goal when it should have been duck shoot out there. Suter then fans on his pass/shot at the blue line and another shorthanded goal… An old coach used to say– You don’t score on 100% of the shots you don’t put on net.

      • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        trading Coyle would be the dumbest thing Fletcher could do. Have you watched this series? He and Granlund are huge factors to their success. (others as well)

        The Wild wouldn’t move much of any of their young talent but could send quality prospects and draft picks to a few teams. The chances the Wild make a splash trade are incredibly unlikely as they don’t want to ship their core young players, especially with how they are all developing.

        Kane and MN is an almost impossible trade

  11. purpleguy - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Hey hockey fans, you don’t have the benefit of knowing the local sports writing market like us Minnesotans do — Charlie Walters the columnist is about as reliable as the local weatherman. Even so, how in heck is a sports columnist expressing an opinion tampering? Oh, I get it — because it involves hockey deity — the Habs.

    • clarke16 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Yup. He’s a hack for sure…

  12. rgledz - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    @Joey4id……you really don’t know a thing about Charlie Walters if you think anything about this article. This guy is an absolute hack that just throws stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. He’s just trying to get people to read his crappy column, nothing more, nothing less. Besides, Vanek himself has said that he’d like to come back to Minnesota. No tampering, just connecting the dots, but if you think you have the scoop…..congrats.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      This, Charlie Walters has been throwing crap against the wall for a LONG time. He’s the Jon Heyman of the area.

  13. moogro - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Charley’s column just added a few million to the bill for the Wild. Nice job.

  14. hunterdoerksen - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wild offer him $35M/5, especially if he does well next round.

    • rjmisles1980 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      The Isles offered Vanek $50M/7 which yes I know he turned down, but there is no way he takes $15M less from Wild.

      • lbeezyse - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Understandable why he would turn down the Isles offer. They are years away from seriously competing and he is 30. Also their owner situation doesn’t help. He has a short window in which he can get a cup, so I expect him to join a team like MN, SJ, LAK, BOS, or NYR. Maybe even STL takes a serious run at him since they badly need scoring. It will be interesting to see where he lands. Never count out DET or CHI. I think if the Stasny domino falls early it will drive Vanek’s price up to 7 mill per. The Wild can easily absorb the hit with Heatley’s 7.5 coming off the books.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        “He has a short window in which he can get a cup, so I expect him to join a team like MN, SJ, LAK, BOS, or NYR”

        You’re 40% right.

  15. buddysguys - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Vanek always looks like he is smelling an awful fart when he is on the bench during games?

    • guitarisgood4u - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Guess it beats Heatley always dry heaving on the bench

  16. guitarisgood4u - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    I knew before I opened this it was gonna be the Pioneer Press. Russo would probably prefer to refrain from talking about Vanek until late June.

  17. bigben1513 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Why would any hockey player ever pick Minnesota over playing in Montreal? Especially after they win the cup this year.

    Because he lives here

  18. moxdawg4 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    First, charley Walters does throw a lot of stuff out there mainly to start conversations like this. But as a Minnesotan I can all but guarantee Vanek signs here… Rupps contract is off the books, so is heatleys, that alone is enough money to sign vanek. Not to mention they still have cap space after that… I think anyone who thinks Vanek isn’t coming to MN hasn’t been paying attention the last decade.

  19. drupac87 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    More purple guy, please. Reading these retards argue gets old quick. #taxes

  20. comeonnowguys - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    After Parise and Suter? So apparently that whole CBA-killing-the-salary-cap-contract-shenanigans idea never took.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Only thing it accomplished was cutting years.

      People will forget about the parise Suter deals after they see how much Toews / Kane is going to get paid in a seven year deal especially if they hit open market as the cap keeps going up. 7/$63 or close to

  21. djshnooks - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Miller will join him somehow…just watch.

  22. justintimezone - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    There was a little rumor going around earlier this season after the Wild lost to the Islanders in MN.. Apparently after the game Pominville pulled Vanek aside and was almost begging him to sign with the Wild over the summer.

    Family, past hockey ties, and a former teammate/friend… Donno if you can pass that up!

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