...Before you freak out, just hear me out on this.
I'm so sick of hearing all this Vanek to the Wild talk. It's a bunch of nonsense. We can't afford a player like that without serious damaging our team long term. I doubt Vanek settles for anything less than a big money, 7 year deal. The Islanders will be offering him a ton of money. If Vanek hits free agency, every team will be offering him a ton of money. If we somehow do miraculously sign Vanek, what then happens to Nino, Granland, Brodin, Coyle, and Darcy? At some point soon all of these players will need to be paid. I just don't see it as a legit possibility. And yes I know Heatley's 7.5mil contract will be up after this season. And the Cap may go up, but we still don't have the money!
Another potential free agent that nobody seems to be talking about is Marian Gaborik.
...You talking about the same Marian Gaborik that was drafted 3rd overall by the Wild in their inaugural season? The original face of the Franchise? The man with the LEGENDARY Glass Groin?!?!
Yes, yes I am.
Gaborik was our teams entire offense for the first 8 years of our existence, unless you consider Bruno, Richard Park, Pascal Dupuis, and Wez Walz as offensive superstars. (No disrespect intended, these men are Legends in my book). Gaborik is the only true sniper the Minnesota Wild have ever had. He's got speed, skill, and is a true sniper. I know, you can't trust him to stay healthy, but he's like lightning in a bottle. When he's playing you have instant offense.
He's currently coming of another typical injury filled season. I'm not sure how much interest he will draw from other teams. He shouldn't cost nearly as much as Vanek. I could see Gaborik getting a low risk, 1-2 year deal to prove he can still play. A short term deal like this would be perfect for MN. It would give us more time for our young players to develop, and it wouldn't destroy our salary cap for the next 7 years.
Most importantly, for the 40 or so games he is healthy we would absolutely dominate!!! Can you imagine Parise and Gabroik on the same line?!?!?
Marian Gaborik is a pour man's, often injured, slightly aged, Patrick Kane. Minnesota could use a player like that.
Just my 2 cents. I'm sure everyone will hate this idea.
Parise - Koivu - Gaborik(5.5mil?)
El Nino - Granlund - Pomiville
Fontaine/Zucker - Coyle - Cooke
MItchell - Brodziak - Somebody