Thomas Vanek’s future with the New York Islanders doesn’t appear to have any longevity attached to it.
According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, his sources indicate the 30-year-old goal scorer has turned down a “substantial” contract offer from the Islanders.
His tenure with the club hasn’t been for too long, as the team acquired Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres back in late October in exchange for forward Matt Moulson and a first round draft pick.
Vanek’s ability to consistently put up strong offensive numbers anywhere he goes will make him a huge trade chip once March 5th rolls around. He has looked sharp this season, scoring 15 goals and added points to date with the Islanders. While the Islanders may be left without the top player from the early blockbuster, it will be interesting to see if the GM Garth Snow will be able to translate the high profile winger into major stepping stones in their pursuit of rebuilding.
The Minnesota Wild have been rumored to be the favorite team in the Vanek sweepstakes, even before his trade to the Islanders. Not only did Vanek play his college hockey at Minnesota, his wife is from the area, the couple owns a house and former linemate and good friend Jason Pominville also plays with the team. The Wild currently have just over $2.8M in cap space, but the team would likely not pass on a forward that would make their top six Zach Paise, Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Mikael Granlund, Pominville and Vanek.
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