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Doubting Thomas: Vanek laments poor finish with Habs

May 31, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek Getty Images

Thomas Vanek‘s run with the Montreal Canadiens ended on a low note and as the team packs up for the summer, he told reporters he’s got a lot to think about as he heads to free agency.

Vanek had no goals and two assists in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. Overall in the playoffs, he had five goals and 10 points with four of the five goals coming against the Boston Bruins.

So why did he struggle against New York? It wasn’t because he was hurt.

Vanek had been on a line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty but was eventually moved to the third line with Daniel Briere and Rene Bourque. That adjustment was apparently tough for Vanek to make.

“I was put in a position to do well here and once I got moved I struggled, couldn’t find chemistry,” Vanek said.

As for whether or not he could see himself returning to Montreal, he said he could because he wants to play for a winning team and that’s what they have there. All that said, Vanek said he’s excited for the summer and to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

The only question now is who will come calling for him after such a disappointing finish with the Habs.

  1. billiam55 - May 31, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    hes leaving. 100% sure.

    • paulerhythm - May 31, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Yep, I agree. I see him signing with Minnesota…

      • nj666 - May 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        for waay too much

      • strictlythedanks - May 31, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        for way too much? no

        Thats what the islanders offered him , he will no doubt take the hometown discount to go to the wild otherwise I don’t think theres a chance they would sign him.

    • imleftcoast - May 31, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      He has such great skill. Why wait until the last game to turn it on? Feels like the team squandered an opportunity.

      • mrsdualcitz - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Vanek didn’t even make an effort during the Canadiens’ playoffs. Every other player seemed to find ” chemistry in a hurray “. After 2 stupid penalties that lead to him to be demoted to 4 rth line playing 800 minutes a game.
        I. Really don’t see a team stupid enough to sign him for 8 years- 8 million a year,is just plain crazy!
        He is inconsistent ,has a motivation problem ,and by no means a superstar!
        Montréal knew they were.” Renting him” for the rest of the year,not beyond. The CH doesn’t sign those types of contract.( thank goodness) I just hope the wild doesn’t bite! They already have Parise and Suter at a crazy long contract.
        I guess in ” today’s market ,vanek would be worth 3 m a year. Not more!
        I love the way he says” I will go where I want to go”, sorry. Thomas ,but you might not have that many choices .
        But good luck to you.As far as Habs,they need to get a deal done with PK.i think they know it’s going to cost them,but worth it!

  2. hockeyornothing - May 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Hello land of 10,000 lakes

  3. rebekah319 - May 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Stay away from the 10,000 lakes thanks! I do not want him here at all!

  4. krebsy34 - May 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Vanek has always been that way too. He isn’t going to try and win a battle if he knows 100% he isn’t going to win that battle, he isn’t gonna go into a battle he know’s he’s going to lose just to make it “look” like he’s trying. I personally like Vanek. You gotta take the good Vanek with the frustrating, but when he get’s going he gets going.

  5. justinhbhb - May 31, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Montreal will make him an offer… won’t be enough or less then other teams (like Minnesota) and he signs elsewhere.

  6. dontbsuchapuss - May 31, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    The wild should know by now you can’t buy a cup they spent a ton on two players and got them nowhere

    • credible316 - May 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      Everyone in this thread is now dumber for reading this.

    • strictlythedanks - May 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM


  7. pizzaman77 - May 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Your typical 3rd line is your “energy/grinder” line. Thomas Vanek isn’t a grinder, he’s a skill guy. He was basically set up for failure once removed from the top 6.

  8. d1211 - May 31, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the Islanders again, it is established Snow is the biggest idiot in hockey, and I am sure Vanek is only concerned with the money, and once he sees he is not going to get the money that he is hoping for he is going to run back to Snow who is going to offer him the same 7 year 50 Million contract that he rejected in February

  9. credible316 - May 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Just like Parise and Suter, he will sign for less and come home.

  10. djshnooks - May 31, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    You people in Monnesota are fools…

    His best friend and linemate through his entire career is in Minnesota…Pominville.

    Put them together, Thomas Vanek is lethal…there is a reason he was among leading scorers for 5 years after the lockout. He is deadly when with Pommer.

    Put Miller in net…they’ll win a cup.

    • anthj99 - May 31, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      Just like the cup they won in their prime as the “core” of the Buffalo Sabres. Oh wait…

  11. djshnooks - May 31, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    And really? Vanek won’t battle?

    He is among the best in the league when within 3-5 feet of the net. He takes punishment down low like a beast.

    You need to pay better attention.

    • joey4id - May 31, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      Unfortunately for him that leaves another 195 feet of unaccountability. Even Ovi works harder than Thomas “Vanish”.

      • thibbledorfpwent - May 31, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Come now, that’s like comparing HIV to Ebola, pretty sure I wouldn’t want either one

  12. montrealknowledge - May 31, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    We were excited when we got him in MTL.. But just like many other players , the HABS system makes many under achieve. HABS will be back to contend.. Or pretend to contend next year and lose in playoffs

    • joey4id - May 31, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Vanek wasn’t impressive the first time I saw him play in person, and true to form he was the same in the playoffs.

      joey4id – Mar 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM
      Vanek wasn’t the hardest working forward, but was at the right place at the right time. He looked like a guy who just wanted to get through the game without getting hurt. I did also watch play when he wasn’t 10 feet from the net (10 feet from the net is the only time he battled), rest of the time he was avoiding the boards like it was the plague. When the puck wasn’t in the offensive zone he was in no way battling. Look at how a player plays without the puck, and how he positions himself around it over 200 feet and you’ll get a very good assessment of his compete level If Vanek would play with the intensity of a Gallagher he would be a freaken superstar.

  13. getadealdonealready - May 31, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    I’m guessing he will talk to the wild, it’s his second home, and chance to be reunited with Pommer, hopefully would make them both better. However a top 6 F spot would have to be earned here, and he would have to take less then others are offering to play here as Fletch has already said his priority is having money to lock up his youngsters long term. I’d say there is a chance it all falls into place, but would have to be the at the right price.

  14. gnrfan8804 - May 31, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    For all who think hes about $, Buf (regier) offered to make him the highest paid player in the league right before he was traded, he obviously turned it down

  15. billsin20xx - May 31, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    It’s def the coaching in Montreal that got him down. Putting him on the 3rd line, not even playing Briere earlier, and then all the diving and embellishment….

  16. mnwildfan15 - May 31, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Heatley 2.0

    • getadealdonealready - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Can’t compare the two – getting Vanek as a free agent means the wild’s brass believes he would fit into their system.

      Heatley was acquired in a crappy contract swap, both players were overpaid, and had underperformed, both clubs were hoping the change of scenery would help the player, I don’t think either team came out on top, except Heatley was probably a better locker room guy, and therefore a better fit here. I’m not a Heatley fan, but we probably don’t make the playoffs this year without him, he carried the offense on this team for a key stretch when everyone else was hurt. Not saying that warrants a new contract, but I feel the Heater hate went a bit too far at times here.

  17. dirtyharry1971mom - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    He is an Edmonton Oilers type player. Worthless and overpaid! Sign him up!

    • mrsdualcitz - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. Although ,I don’t know how many ” suckers” are out there ! Just glad he won’t be a HAB ,next year!

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