It's been clear since the beginning of last year that Vanek could eventually end up here in St.Paul. Vanek would be the player to replace Heatley, and give this team the offense they need. Ok that's good. But what if the Wild don't get Vanek? Who else would be available that'll have offensive versatility like Thomas Vanek? Well all I can say is there are some other players that would be another plan B option if Vanek doesn't end up here. My list starts here: Marian Gaborik, Michael Cammalleri, and there's others. But those players that I've mentioned are mostly the main ones.
Thomas Vanek is a good quality forward that a lot of teams would be looking to sign, and the Islanders will be looking to re-sign him during free agency. The Wild will test the market this year to see if they can convince him that Minnesota is the place to be, and not NY. There has been discussions in Minnesota potentially making a run at Vanek in the offseason. Vanek attended the University of Minnesota, practices on campus in the offseason at Mariucci Arena, still lives in Stillwater and wouldn’t mind reuniting with former Sabres linemate Jason Pominville. All of that, combined with Vanek’s happiness in New York goes to show that there’s a big decision on the horizon for the star winger. But if he doesn't come here, do we get Gaborik, Cammy, who?.
Marian Gaborik is having a very hard time this season while the injury bug has been a serous problem for him lately, and pretty much he's been having this problem for the majority of his career. He has only played 18 games this season with 5G and 7A. Yes he's out with another injury, and it seems that Columbus doesn't want to have anything to do with him anymore. Gaborik was suppose to be one of the players to carry the Blue Jackets in the rebuilding process. That hasn't been the case. So what if the Wild got Gabby back, even though fans think he's past his prime. He's still a dangerous threat that's not even old, he's only 31. He's one of the fastest players in hockey, naturally gifted and a constant offensive menace. Great at changing gears. Has soft hands, elusive one-on-one moves and a quick release highlighted by a laser-like wrister. Yes, yes, he does has some issues of playing a team game but I bet he'll clean that up. But the Wild maybe shouldn't sign him long term since he's been injury prone. The Wild's projected lines would look like this if Gabby was in the lineup:
So this lineup would be a good lineup since you'll have 3 scoring lines that can contribute offensively. And plus, Minnesota could put his career back on track.
Cammalleri has been good for 21pts, 13 of which are goals. He is playing on a terrible flames team. Even though he's undersized, he's still a scoring threat. To make matters complicated with respect to trade discussions or even offseason discussions, Cammalleri has missed 10 games so far this year with a hand injury and most recently, a concussion. How serious this concussion is will without a doubt affect his value. And the fact is that the Wild have been struggling to score and Cammalleri could help them with respect to a playoff push per say. Shoots the puck with authority, has excellent offensive skills and a nose for the net. Plays with intelligence and is usually in the right place at the right time. Can play all three forward positions as required. And yes he could be a little inconsistent. But Minnesota can be a turning point for him. Cammy would at least be on the second line if he were to come here.
So to be honest, if the Wild had a plan B. I believe Gabby would be a better fit than Cammy. He just has more of a spark. And if we do get Vanek since there's pretty much a 15-25% chance since there's other teams trying to get him. But let's hope Fletch would make a good decision. But another things is that, we have plenty of talented players that'll develop into great key forwards to carry this club, and not to mention goaltending, and defense. We have Haula, Granlund, Niederreiter, Coyle, Zucker, Fontaine, Phillips, Graovac, Bussieres, Bulmer, and Peterson. Then with D we have Olofsson, Gunnarsson, Medvec, Labbe, Soucy, and Blum. Then with goaltending we have Kuemper, Gustafsson, and Belanger. Sorry that you guys had to read this list of names but it's just to make a point. The future's bright with this club to get experience under their belt. It's just we do need experience offense.
Thanks for reading. Who do you guys think should come here if we don't get Vanek?