Thomas Vanek, Wild agree to 3-year, $19.5 million deal

Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto

The Wild desperately needed to add a goal-scoring forward, and got their man in Thomas Vanek.

One of the biggest problems last season for the Minnesota Wild was goal scoring. Outside of Zach Parise and Jason Pominville, Minnesota didn't have too many reliable scorers, which plagued the team for much of the season, and led to a deadline acquisition of Matt Moulson.

But as free agency opened Tuesday, the Wild added some offensive help by signing Thomas Vanek, one of the top available forwards on the market.

Vanek bounced around the league last season, beginning the year in Buffalo before getting traded to the Islanders. New York then shipped Vanek to the Canadiens at the trade deadline in a last-second deal, but he never found his scoring touch in Montreal and slid down the depth chart during the Habs' postseason run.

Still, Vanek has always been a consistent, reliable scorer during his NHL career, something Minnesota desperately needed. The 30-year-old has scored at least 25 goals in eight of his nine seasons as a pro, with the only one under that number coming in the 2012-13 lockout shortened campaign.

The scoring wealth wasn't distributed too deeply for Minnesota last season, as outside of Parise and Pominville, Nino Niederreiter was their next-highest goal scorer at 14. The Wild finished 24th overall in the league in goals per game last season.

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