Wilderness Walk: Vanekspectations

How will the former Gopher do in his second stint in Minnesota? - Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

What to expect from Vanek’s first season with the Minnesota Wild.

Now that the Thomas Vanek signing has had a week to sink in, it’s time to discuss our expectations for Vanek’s first season with the Wild. Hopefully people have come down from the free agency high and are beginning to think clearly on the subject.

Vanek has always been a somewhat streaky offensive player. He can at times completely disappear from the game. Having watched many Sabres games in the past 5 years, I can tell you that he usually requires another player to do most of the work/create the offensive chance/drive play and then set him up. Derek Roy used to set him up all the time back in the day, but never seemed to get any credit.

The nice thing about Vanek’s game besides his scoring touch, is that he seems to have great positioning offensively. The guy always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

I’m expecting Vanek’s numbers at the end of the season to be around 26 goals, 65 points. With plenty of that coming on the power play. Anything above 65 points would be gravy.

Also, hopefully Vanek is one of the rare few players that has chemistry with Koivu. Because I don’t want to see the Parise - Granlund - Pomminville line broken up.

What I’m trying to say is the following: ....We shouldn’t go out and start planning the parade down Nicollet Mall just yet.

The NHL season is a long and grueling 82 games. Our Minnesota Wild will be playing in the most difficult division in hockey. Every team in the Central besides "the Wall" looks to have improved from last season.

It’s no guarantee that we make the playoffs in the West, much less do well once we get there. Lets take this thing one game at a time. And hope for the best! Can't wait for October!

On to your Walk

MN Wild News

Thomas Vanek Ceremonial Pitch 7-5-14 Video - NHL VideoCenter - Minnesota Wild
Watch Thomas Vanek's Ceremonial Pitch 7-5-14 - Courtesy of the Minnesota Twins

Wild Development Camp To Feature Green vs. White Scrimmage - Minnesota Wild - News
These games are always fun

Minnesota Wild Bring Back Forward Cody Almond
Why don't we bring back Wes Walz while we are at it.

HockeyBuzz.com - Tony Dean - MNWild 2014 Prospect Development Center Group Preview

Other News

Five potentially underrated free-agent signings - NHL.com - NHL Insider
potential underated signing, Havlat could be a steal!!!

Ryan Kesler trade to Anaheim Ducks pleases coach Bruce Boudreau - NHL.com - NHL Insider
Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau raved about the trade that landed Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks.

2014-15 NHL CSS Futures North American list - Prospects
2014-15 NHL CSS Futures North American list, a few Minnesotans mentioned

Nikolaj Ehlers aims to be Winnipeg Jets' next first-round success story - NHL.com - NHL Insider
The Wall is rebuilding

Aaron Ekblad ready, willing to prove himself to Florida Panthers - NHL.com - NHL Insider
Aaron Ekblad better be ready to work, no pressure

Senators general manager Murray diagnosed with cancer
Sad news, hope he recovers

McDavid and Eichel on NHL's 2015 Futures List
The future of the NHL

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.