Apr 10, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek (20) skates before the game against the New York Islanders at the Bell Centre. The New YorkIslanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Rumors: Minnesota Wild to meet with Thomas Vanek

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The Minnesota Wild won perhaps more than any team who lost in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year as their 13 game trip into the Western Conference Semifinals was an arrival by a team many have been waiting on for years to become a force in the NHL.

Now that they have arrived as a legitimate NHL franchise, it’s up to the Wild to try and find the right players in free agency to continue to grow. For a year or so now the Wild have been looking at forward Thomas Vanek and they now have a chance this summer to go out and get him. Minnesota is wasting no time it sees as they’ll be having a sitdown meeting with Vanek on Sunday.

The Wild have wanted to look at Vanek for a while now as he makes his summer home in Minnesota and has ties to the hockey community from his days playing for the Minnesota Gophers. Vanek even continues to practice over the summers at his old college arena, all of which ties back into Minnesota’s desire to home-grow their brand of hickey and the excitement about the team’s future.

Vanek is a top free agent though and the Wild won’t be the only team trying to sign Vanek. Still, they have the upper hand in signing him and it’s clear they want first crack at him.

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Tags: Minnesota Wild NHL Free Agency