The NHL Draft came and went over the weekend and now all NHL eyes are on free agency. Teams are allowed to begin signing unrestricted and restricted free agents Tuesday at 11 a.m.
The player most tightly connected to the Minnesota Wild is Thomas Vanek. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune is reporting that Vanek was in the Twin Cities on Sunday, meeting with Wild head coach Mike Yeo. The meeting was designed to get a feel for what kind of role Vanek could play for the Wild.
Vanek, 30, scored 27 goals and had 41 assists last season while playing for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. He was traded from Buffalo to New York, and from New York to Montreal.
With 277 goals over the last nine years, only seven players have scored more goals than Vanek since 2005-06. His ability to find the net would help a Minnesota offense that finished 24th in the NHL in scoring last season.
Vanek will have a choice to make between receiving a long-term deal away from Minnesota or inking a short-term deal at a hometown discount.
Vanek, who starred for the Gophers in 2003 and 2004, still lives in Stillwater.
In addition to the Vanek report, Russo says Minnesota has show "significant interest" in perennial Wild killer Jarome Iginla. Iginla, who turns 37 on Tuesday, is unlikely to return to the Boston Bruins, the Boston Herald reported Sunday.