Skip to main content

Looking at history, should the Wild be worried about Thomas Vanek's future?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Wild forward Thomas Vanek wasn't making any excuses for his less than stellar playoff performance during the Wild's postseason run.

Vanek didn't score a goal in the postseason for Minnesota, and he has now been held without a goal in 17 straight playoff games. The slump goes back to last season when Vanek, who was with Montreal – was shut out in the Eastern Conference Finals – against the New York Rangers.

After a slow start to this season, Vanek seemed to get things going in the second half of the year, finishing with 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) on the season. But that came to a sudden halt in the playoffs.

"It wasn't great, I didn't score a goal," Vanek told reporters Monday. "When you don't produce and you lose, you're going to take some heat. I am not going to make excuses why, I should have been better."

This embed is invalid

Vanek signed a three-year $19.5 million contract with the Wild to return to Minnesota prior to the season. He played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota and won a National Championship in 2003 with the Gophers.

ESPN 1500 notes that it wasn't always a happy homecoming for Vanek, He was criticized at times during the season for appearing to coast during shifts and for a reluctance to shoot.

But there could be more that might concern the Wild about Vanek's future during the final two years of his contract.

According to a CBS Sports report, players like Vanek, whose primary skill is scoring goals, hit their "peak" far earlier in their NHL careers than most people realize.

The report notes that the "peak" for those players is usually between the ages of 24-26. While many remain productive into their late 20s and early-to-mid 30s, they aren't as productive as they once were.

The situation is somewhat similar to the player Vanek was brought in to replace – former Wild forward Danny Heatley.

If the Wild don't want the Heatley situation to repeat itself with Vanek, they had better hope he can turn it around next season.

Next Up

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.


Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.


Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.


Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.