Skip to content

Thomas Vanek did not get good reviews last night

May 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

A handful of tweets about Montreal forward Thomas Vanek, both during and after his performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final:

So…not overly positive. Vanek finished the game with one shot, and in addition to getting ripped on social media, was called out by Don Cherry (video) for his defensive coverage on the Rangers’ first goal — “you talk about a guy in a fog” — as well as the “stupid” slashing penalty he took in the first period that negated a Montreal power play.

Now, to be fair, Vanek does have five goals in the playoffs, tied with Lars Eller and Rene Bourque for the most on the Canadiens. It wasn’t long ago that Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin was being celebrated for getting Vanek from the Islanders for cheap.

But if you ask Grapes about Vanek, “This guy’s mind is in Minnesota,” where it’s been widely speculated the ex-Gopher will sign this summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Bonus tweet!

Question for discussion — if you’re Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, how much would you be willing to give the 30-year-old winger? Because the Islanders were reportedly willing to give him a lot, and the Sabres were reportedly willing to give him a lot. Which is to say, he’s going to be demanding a lot.

Also consider that Minnesota already has experience with a highly paid winger who scored a lot of goals before he was 30, only to stop scoring so much after he got on the wrong side of that age. Via Hockey Reference, here’s how the numbers look for that guy:

source:

Yeah.

  1. tlndma - May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Vanek is good around the opposition crease. It’s the other 180 ft.of ice where he is average.

  2. pftbillsfan - May 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Not fair, honestly it’s because he is European. The effort thing is only said about foreign players, not Canadians or Americans. Frustrating.

    • pigeonbutt - May 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      BS. Yeah Grapes is renowned for this but you don’t need to be the scout of the Red Wings to see that someone with that much power and skill isn’t utilizing it night in and out.

  3. pftbillsfan - May 20, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Also very funny that Milbury said it was the best thing to ever happen to the Islanders when Vanek left. Uh….

    • tuberippin - May 21, 2014 at 5:21 AM

      Milbury just loves to hear the sound of his own voice. Doesn’t really matter what words come out.

  4. pigeonbutt - May 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Been able to watch more of Vanek this season, especially after his trade to MTL. I was really impressed with his hand eye coordination around the net but it rapidly became apparent the guy has massive effort and consistency issues. I actually found myself frustrated at times that someone with such size and skill would squander it – it’s one thing to be invisible but to be clearly not trying as hard as the other skaters is another beast.

  5. bennydabeata - May 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Couldn’t have said it any better tlndma (the hell?). He’s never been a two way player and never will be. He’s a garbage goal scorer and nothing more. Maybe the best at it since Andreychuk but even he would play a little two way hockey sometimes. He will flourish with a high paced offense and sputter on a team low on talent or on a line that doesn’t maintain good puck control in the offensive zone. There were talks he’d be one of the highest paid NHL players, I think that would be a huge mistake. He simply cannot be relied on to carry a team

  6. rpiotr01 - May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Guys who are as good as Vanek around the net are still worth a lot of money.

  7. bullwinkle88 - May 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Vanek isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, either on the ice or in the dressing room. The guy is overpaid and over-hyped. I’m glad he’s out of Buffalo and I feel for any team that overpays for him.

  8. govtminion - May 20, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Eh, I don’t know about comparing him to Heatley. Heatley just stopped caring at some point- I don’t know that Vanek is that kind of player.

    …Then again, I didn’t think Heatley would be either until it happened. *shrug*

    • guitarisgood4u - May 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      I disagree about Heatley, I think he truly cared and wanted to do well for the Wild, he just doesn’t have the speed or balance he used to. A guy I know met him and said he’s a genuinely nice guy, and from everything I’ve heard of him (after joining the Wild) is that he’s a team player.

      I hope he gets a gig in the NHL again, if not, I’d love to see him tear it up in DEL or something. That should provide lots of great material for @DanyAllStar15

  9. guitarisgood4u - May 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Just so the Wild don’t commit to Vanek too long, and leave themselves enough room to resign the kids I’m cool with it.
    I don’t feel like Vanek would be as devoid of effort with Captain Koivu, Captain America, and Matt Cooke (he apparently has a tendency to call out anyone and everyone for lack of effort) in the room.
    Hell, Bryz apparently loved it here!

  10. d1211 - May 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    any team who gives him more then a 4-5 year contract at 5-6 Million a year is going to regret, he is either a heartless hockey player who doesn’t have the desire to win, or he is hiding an injury and I am sure once he gets his huge contract he is going to miss alot of time

  11. bildomatic - May 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    #50in07

  12. getadealdonealready - May 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I don’t see MN overspending for him the way they did for ZP or Suter, the organization is in a different place now. It has kids that are on the cusp of being great, and a farm system with a lot of talent. Way different from the Risboruough years.

    If Vanek signs with MN it will be a cap friendly deal, because he has close ties (still in close contact with guys he played college hockey with who live/work in the area). In talking to them he feels this is his 2nd home, and thinks he would be more comfortable playing here, that may be why he turned down money in other places. That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, but Fletcher has already said his committed to signing and extending his kids first, then filling holes via free agency. Either way it will be an interesting off-season in the State of Hockey!

  13. getadealdonealready - May 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I don’t see MN overspending for him the way they did for ZP or Suter, the organization is in a different place now. It has kids that are on the cusp of being great, and a farm system with a lot of talent. Way different from the Risboruough years.

    If Vanek signs with MN it will be a cap friendly deal, because he has close ties (still in close contact with guys he played college hockey with who live/work in the area). In talking to them he feels this is his 2nd home, and thinks he would be more comfortable playing here, that may be why he turned down money in other places. That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, but Fletcher has already said his committed to signing and extending his kids first, then filling holes via free agency. Either way it will be an interesting off-season in the State of Hockey!

    Super Bowl ’18 homeboy!

  14. nolockoutpricks - May 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    heatley 2.0

    • guitarisgood4u - May 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      2.0 so, updated and better, yeah?

  15. channelguy - May 20, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Vanek was on a 7 year 50 million dollar deal with Buffalo, and those are reportedly the same numbers he turned down from the Islanders for an extension. Minnesota fans can dream all they want about him signing a cap-friendly deal, but this is his last shot at the big money, and he’s going to take it. I have no doubt Minnesota is his first choice, but he will be going there for Heatley money.

    • getadealdonealready - May 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      then he won’t be here, just saying

  16. r8rbhawk - May 20, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Thumbs up if you heard Grapes drop the F bomb in that Coach’s Corner link that Jason provided.

  17. twinwildflyer - May 21, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    In all fairness, san jose signed him to that big contract that the wild inherited in the turd for turd trade.

  18. ralphwilsonisrich - May 21, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    20 goals in 49 playoff games. Milbury go into the stands again.

  19. purpleguy - May 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    I hope Fletcher figures out the goaltending issues first. If he signs Vanek to a cap friendly deal that doesn’t mess up the ability to sign all the youngsters, that $6M we’ll lose from Heater’s departure will be available.

  20. habs9 - May 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    ‘Because the Islanders were reportedly willing to give him a lot, and the Sabres were reportedly willing to give him a lot.’

    – notice a pattern here, these teams are not even close to being contenders (especially Buffalo) so i doubt any real contender has money to waste on someone who does not show up in the playoffs

  21. justinpecora50 - May 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Don’t be surprised if Vanek gets benched for Bournival.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2130)
  2. B. Bishop (2052)
  3. M. Fleury (1869)
  4. J. Schultz (1648)
  5. D. Krejci (1630)
  1. J. Boychuk (1597)
  2. E. Staal (1537)
  3. C. Anderson (1509)
  4. R. Lehner (1417)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1292)