The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Thomas Vanek to a three-year deal worth $6.5 million per season, an NHL source confirmed Tuesday. The deal also includes a no-trade clause, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun.
It's a return to Minnesota for Vanek, who starred at the University of Minnesota before moving on to the NHL, where he's played a total of 663 games with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens.
"I'm extremely thrilled to be a part of the Wild and of a group like this," Vanek said.
The deal is smaller than ones offered to Vanek by the Islanders and Sabres over the course of the last year, but Vanek was determined to hit the open market, part of the reason why he spent last season playing with three teams.
In 78 games total with the Sabres, Islanders and Canadiens, Vanek finished last year with 21 goals and 68 points. He'll be a nice boost to the Wild, who have struggled offensively at times in the West. Last season, Minnesota finished No. 24 in the NHL in goal-scoring per game, at just 2.43 goals per game. Adding a player who has two 40-goal seasons on his resume will help address that problem.
Vanek struggled during the postseason with the Canadiens in the spring but in 53 career playoff games he has scored 20 goals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.