Just as Minnesota Wild fans were getting over the Wild's 5-3 victory against the Blackhawks in Chicago, late Sunday evening; right as Cordarrelle Patterson was returning the Vikings/Packers opening kickoff 109 yards to the house, former Golden Gopher and pending 2014 free agent, Thomas Vanek, was packing his bags for Long Island.
BREAKING: #Isles have traded Matt Moulson, their 2014 1st-round pick and a 2015 2nd-round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 28, 2013
New York Islanders beat writer for the Long Island News Day, Arthur Staple, broke the news that Islanders General Manager Garth Snow had indeed traded for the Buffalo Sabres co-captain. The move sent Matt Moulson, New York's 2014 1st round pick, and New York's 2015 2nd round pick.
Wild fans have kept an eye on the six-time 60 point scorer that hails from Vienna, Austria. His pending unrestricted free agency at the end of this season has Wild fans hoping the front office can lure him back to Minnesota. Vanek was a crucial member of the 2002-03 Golden Gophers team that won the NCAA National Championship.
Vanek goes to a place where he could improve his free agent status. Moulson? He better hope they send him somewhere else sooner than later— EJ Hradek (@EJHradek_NHL) October 28, 2013
There have been no discussions between Snow and Vanek of a possible contract extension. Most people believe that Vanek will still test the waters of free agency, which gives Wild fans a glimmer of hope of landing him in the offseason. Others yet, feel that Moulson still may be flipped again for more picks by Buffalo GM Darcy Regier.
Either way, until something drastically changes from now and next summer, Wild fans can still hope that the possibility for Vanek coming to Minnesota is still there. However, the only question by that time will be, "Will the Wild need Vanek?"