Vanek: Wild were at the top of the list from the start

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The Minnesota Wild's new forward Thomas Vanek appeared on NHL Live Wednesday talking about his decision to sign with team.

Vanek signed to a three-year $19.5 million contract with the Wild on Tuesday.

During the interview, Vanek said he was looking forward to the opportunity to play for the Wild.

"Once free agency opened, they expressed interest, and ultimately we made it work," said Vanek.

For Vanek, it's a return to playing in Minnesota. He was a standout at the University of Minnesota and helped to lead the Gophers to the 2003 National Championship. He also lives in Minnesota during the offseason.

Vanek said ultimately his return to the Wild came down to his belief in the team.

"I believe in this team, they have good players, a lot of good character players and a lot of young guys who can play," said Vanek. "I am very excited to get to play with this group."

Vanek scored 27 goals while playing for Buffalo, the New York Islanders and Montreal last season. It was in Montreal where he was criticized for his play, as he struggled in the playoffs.

"I am the one to blame, I was the one on the ice," said Vanek. "I think if I find my niche and find a couple of good guys to play with, as I have in the past, I can make them better and they can make me better."

After the moving around so much last year, Vanek said he is hopeful he can keep this jersey for awhile.

Here is the full interview with the new Wild forward.

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