Vanek's last contract with the Wild was set to run through the 2016-17 season, but he was subjected to a contract buyout and hit the open market. While he's working his way back from broken and displaced ribs this offseason and can be maddeningly inconsistent when healthy, this is a low-risk signing given that the Wings can let him walk after just one year. The best-case scenario has Vanek entering the next season fully healthy and ready to work in a top-six role. He's produced 316 goals and 333 assists in 817 career games between the Sabres, Habs, Isles, and Wild.
The move will give the Wild $5 million in salary cap space for free agency. Vanek has been a disappointment since joining the Wild as he scored a career-low 18 goals in 74 games last season. He had just 93 points in the last two seasons despite signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract.
The 32-year-old left winger scored a career-low 18 goals in 74 games. He also missed four of the last regular-season games and the entire first round due to broken and displaced ribs. With one year left on his contract, Vanek is hoping the Wild decide not to buy him out.
Vanek's was labeled day-to-day toward the end of the playoff run, so the issue likely wouldn't have cost him much more time. There's no reason to believe the winger won't be ready to go for the start of 2016-17, looking to build on a campaign in which he tallied 41 points in 74 games.
Thomas Vanek (lower body) will not play in Sunday's Game 6 against the Stars, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.
Unfortunately for Vanek, he was unable to suit up for Friday's thrilling comeback win in overtime for Game 5. Nine goals were scored in that contest, providing fantasy players with plenty of movement in their respective games. At this point, Vanek can only hope for his team to force Game 7, which is scheduled for Tuesday.