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NY • United States • 28 Years Old • Male

Look Out Vanek

Posted 5:23 PM ET | Comments 0
rnrnrnThomas Vanek is a shooting star on the move. rnrnVanek played for three different NHL teams in the 2013-2014 season: The Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and Montreal Canadians. Vanek's combined effort for the three teams in 78 games played was 27 goals and 41 assists for a total of 68 points. In terms of points per game, Vanek had his best success with the Islanders; in 47 game he had 44 points for .936 points per game. rnrnThe trade deadline moved Vanek to Montreal. After a slow start and a lot of scrutiny Vanek picked up the pace, returning to form, finishing the season for Montreal with 15 points in 18 games, or .833 points per game. rnrnSay what you will about his style of play, but Thomas Vanek is a forward that can generate offense. A snapshot of ten NHL stars with comparable career point per game averages shows off Vanek's caliber. rnrnThomas Vanek (.838)rnBobby Ryan (.752)rnClaude Giroux (.908)rnRick Nash (.802)rnMartin St. Louis (.925)rnMarian Gaborik (.869)rnMarian Hossa (.912)rnDaniel Sedin (.822)rnCorey Perry (.835) rnJames Neal (.762)rnZach Parise (.816)rnrnAll superstars, all play different styles, but they generate about the same amount of point production. Vanek, Parise, and Daniel Sedin are considered the top left wingers in the NHL. In all of his nine seasons in the NHL Vanek has at least 20 goals; in two of those years he was a 30-goal scorer, and twice he was a 40-goal scorer. rnrnIt's obvious that Vanek is a consistent star, statistical success will follow him wherever he goes. The problem may be he's going somewhere, because his contract is due to expire at the end of the season. rnrnThe deeper Montreal goes in the playoffs the more and more Vanek shows himself to be a difference maker. In Round 2, Game 1 against the Bruins, Michel Therrian moved Vanek to the fourth line and limited his ice time; replacing Vanek by moving up forward Dale Weise. In Game 2, Vanek responded scoring 2 goals; a game that was ultimately lost to Boston. Vanek has proven to be a contributor and trade deadline steal, even if he leaves Montreal after this year. rnrnIt's widely known that Vanek wants to play for Minnesota. He played his college years for the University of Minnesota, developing for the NHL, winning the 2003 NCAA championship, and Frozen Four MVP honor of the tournament. His wife is from Minnesota. rnrnMinnesota has a good team, only one or two pieces away from being a Stanley Cup contender. Could Vanek fill that role? Maybe. They would still have an important need for stronger goaltending and a consistently solid, deeper blue-line. They play in the tough Western Conference, with perennial powerhouses like the Chicago Blackhawks, and L.A. Kings. Both of which have won Stanley Cups and dominated the playoffs in the last two years. rnrnMontreal has a solid team in place: face-paced offensive system, high scoring speedy forwards, one of the NHL's best goaltenders, Carey Price, and a tough defensive core centered around young superstar, and defending Norris trophy winner, P.K. Subban. Montreal is original six royalty, they have the most storied history in hockey, and the most championships of any franchise (24). Not to mention one of the most dedicated and passionate fan bases. rnrnIf Vanek makes that trip from Montreal, the Mecca of hockey, to one of the Twin Cities I hope it doesn't hurt his chances of winning a Stanley Cup. rnrnAs a Vanek fan I would like to see him stay in Montreal. He's been a beast after acquainting himself with his teammates and Therrian's system. Therrian is deploying Vanek in an opportunistic way that puts his stats and style of play at the apex of his game. Vanek has even increased his value being a productive player at both right and left wing in Therrian's lineup. rnrnIf Vanek real priority is to play for Minnesota I hope it doesn't hurt his cup chances. He'll be at home and able to play alongside friends in former Sabres teammates Jason Pominville and Cody McCormick. He'll be at home. He may have high flying offensive players on a progressing team, but that dream of lifting the cup may be more elusive, and further down a receding path. rnrnWhat Vanek desires, and prefers to do who can say? Only time and his actions will tell. Either way, as a Vanek fan, the hope is continued success, and a championship future. Both of which seem clearer under the bright lights in the largest hockey arena in the world, and the home of the Montreal Canadians. rnrnrnrnThanks for reading!
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