~~Today was free agency frenzy day in the NHL and many teams made their mark. The Canucks signed Ryan Miller. The Stars traded for Jason Spezza. The Blues signed Paul Stastny. The Wild, on the other hand, had a quiet day. They lost both Clayton Stoner and Matt Moulson. They weren't able to lure Jarome Iginla or Matt Niskanen, two stars they were eyeing. But, they did sign Thomas Vanek, a playmaker who played in Minnesota during his college days. He may not be the biggest star on the market, but he is a perfect fit for the Wild.
The Wild aren't a great offensive team. They tried to improve offensively by trading for Matt Moulson before the trade deadline last season, but that plan backfired. Vanek is a player who can help them offensively. The Wild have the pieces to be an explosive team, but they need one more piece to solve the puzzle. They are confident that Vanek is the piece that they need. The only problem is this: Vanek is inconsistent and he struggled in last year's playoffs with the Canadiens. Thomas Vanek's inconsistency is an issue, but the Wild will benefit from his scoring ability.
Vanek is definitely a perfect fit for the Wild. He'll be comfortable in Minnesota, where he went to college. He'll be playing alongside both Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Jason Pominville, three of his closest friends since he was drafted in 2003. Vanek is aging, but he will benefit from being around a young and energetic team with a lot of potential in the Wild. The Wild are an emerging team with a lot of talent to work with. Minnesota didn't splurge in free agency in 2012 for nothing. Vanek wants to be in Minnesota, regardless of the money. And, Minnesota wants him and they finally got him.
This was probably the most logical signing of the day. He's a prolific scorer who wants to be in Minnesota and will immediately be embraced by the fans. Although the Wild didn't do much today, signing Thomas Vanek was brilliant. Wild fans like me can't wait to see what the Wild can do next season. One thing is for sure: the Wild have a bright future and signing Vanek is just the beginning of what should be a strong offseason for Minnesota.
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