Well as free agency draws closer and closer, Fans across the NHL, especially in Minnesota, are wondering what their teams will do, if anything. I know the crowd wants in Minnesota, and that's former Golden Gopher Thomas Vanek to come to the State of Hockey once again.
Vanek, who played on three rosters this season and ended with the Montreal Canadians, would have 68 points in the regular season and would just miss out on that 30 goal plateau, but was kept pretty quiet in the playoffs. Only acquiring five goals and five assists in the playoffs, and a not so good -4, so that makes me wonder if Vanek will be worth the payday if he can't compete in the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, he will be a great addition to any team he ends up on, but I think it is too much for the Wild to invest in one player right now.
Now another face Minnesotans are used to seeing, Marian Gaborik. I have also heard some fans that they wouldn't mind seeing him back in a Minnesota uniform, but I'm sure it is due to the success he is finding in the playoffs this year. What fans fail to realize is that he spent most of the regular season injured and would only score 11 goals during his time he was able to play. His playoff goal scoring touch has reminded us on how a healthy Gaborik is quick and a dynamic goal scorer in the NHL. I have a feeling LA will be keeping him around for a little bit.
Now what Minnesota fans want the Wild to do is pretty obvious. They want Chuck Fletcher to make a push for Vanek. However, what some fans need to realize is that our young core of players is one of the best in the league and are deserving of a better payday. With the contracts of Niederreiter and Kuemper up, RFAs, Minnesota would be stupid to not sign them to a long term deal. One can't forget about Haula, Granlund, or Coyle either.
If Minnesota were smart, they would pass on a blockbuster signing this summer and give their young guns the payday that they deserve. I know Minnesota fans got a taste of a deeper playoff run and want success now, but sign these guys, and I know I may be stating the obvious here, but we could have success for many years to come.