The Minnesota Wild appear to be leaning towards buying out winger Thomas Vanek. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the probability of buying him out over the next couple of days is quite high although nothing has been formalized as of yet.
Vanek struggled in 2015-16, his second year with the Wild. He had just 41 points in 74 games last year, equalling the lowest output of his career (he also had 41 points in 2012-13 but played just 38 games that year). Vanek is owed $7.5MM in salary for 2016-17 with a cap hit of $6.5MM.
If he is bought out, the Wild would have to pay him $5MM over the next two years while carrying cap charges of $1.5MM next season and $2.5MM in 2017-18. The Wild have just over $9MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly and have several restricted free agents to re-sign.
In other Wild news:
- Michael Russo of the Star Tribute reports that GM Chuck Fletcher has been involved in contract talks with pending RFA’s Tyler Graovac and Jason Zucker. He adds that the team intends to sign a veteran goaltender with NHL experience to a two-way deal to start with their AHL affiliate in Iowa.
- Also from McKenzie, the Wild are fielding offers for some of their young defensemen. He suggests a trade of one of their blueliners for a forward is a possibility but isn’t guaranteed.