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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

Minnesota Wild sign Thomas Vanek

The top available NHL free agent is officially off the board as the Minnesota Wild have signed winger Thomas Vanek.

The deal is a three-year, $19.5 million contract for Vanek to sign with the team in the city he calls home.

Vanek to Minnesota had been the most talked about rumor since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. It’s believed that Vanek was offered a longer term and more money by other teams looking to acquire his services, but he chose to take a substantial pay cut and term reduction to play for the Wild.

The New York Islanders, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, offered Vanek a seven-year, $50 million contract, which the former All-Star immediately declined.

[Related: NHL Free Agency deal tracker]

With the Wild, Vanek reunites with long-time teammate Jason Pominville, with whom he spent nearly a decade with on a line with the Buffalo Sabres. It’s expected he will once again be placed on a line with his former running mate.

After being dealt twice in a single season, Vanek’s new contract includes a full no trade clause.

Sound off Wild fans! What do you think about the signing of Thomas Vanek? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tags: Minnesota Wild NHL Thomas Vanek

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