Trade Deadline: Where's Thomas Vanek going?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Every spring, NHL fans watch with anticipation as the NHL trade deadline approaches. This year's deadline is on March 5, 2014. NHL teams will try to secure that coveted player or two that could help push their team over the top and make them a contender for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Good Morning Wilderness... One of the most exciting times of the year is almost here. No it's not Christmas. Every spring, NHL fans watch with anticipation as the NHL trade deadline approaches. This year's deadline is on March 5, 2014. NHL teams will try to secure that coveted player or two that could help push their team over the top, and make them a contender for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On the flip side of the equation, there will be teams unloading players.

Some refer to the NHL trade deadline as the silly season. Speaking of silly, in February of 2008, the Minnesota Wild traded a six-round draft choice to the New York Islanders for pugilist Chris Simon. Simon would go on to play in 12 games for the Wild scoring (0g-0a--0pts). He did manage to pick up 16 minutes in penalties. Thanks for playing. There probably wasn't a lot of Wild fans that bought Chris Simon jerseys. Don't count on the Wild making such an underwhelming trade this year.

So, who's going to be buyers, and who's going to be sellers? I would have to think with the Wild in the mix for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they "could" make a move or two before the March 5th deadline. They could stand pat as well.

As the NHL trade deadline approaches, one of the biggest questions is where is former Minnesota Golden Gopher Thomas Vanek going to end up?

Katie Strang, ESPN.com -- With the Islanders a whopping 12 points back of the last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and star center John Tavares done for the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered at the Olympics, the team will be looking to move Vanek. The 30-year-old winger, who rejected a lucrative long-term deal from the Islanders earlier this month, surely will be one of the most coveted rental players on the trade market. Though there will be no lack of interest for his goal-scoring ability -- Vanek has recorded two 40-goal seasons -- his $5.75 million cap hit may be prohibitive to some, even pro-rated for the remainder of the season.

With Thomas Vanek turning down a big offer from the New York Islanders and having ties to the State of Hockey, you'd have to think that there's a chance the Wild could make a move for Vanek. I can dream right?

Mike Harrington, The Buffalo News -- Vanek, of course, won an NCAA championship in Buffalo in 2003 while playing for the University of Minnesota and one of his teammates on that club was current Wild defenseman Keith Ballard. Vanek's wife, Ashley, is a Minnesota native and he makes his offseason home in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Common Logic is that the Wild will "probably" wait till the free-agent period in July, before they make an attempt to sign Vanek. As a rental player, Vanek's would be pretty expensive. I don't think the Wild would want to give up one of their high-end prospects to sign Vanek. That being said, I don't think it hurts to try.

"You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take," - Wayne Gretzky.

Maybe the Wild can pry Vanek away from the Islanders for a draft pick? It doesn't hurt to dream and it' easy being an arm chair GM in your living room.

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