Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek (26) of Austria, celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, April 24, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Thomas Vanek has signed a US$19.5-million, three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild.
Vanek, the best player available on the free-agent market, appeared to turn a longer term and larger salary to sign with Minnesota.
The 30-year-old winger had 15 goals in 18 games since being traded to the Montreal Canadiens at the deadline, then five goals and five assists in the playoffs.
In his NHL career, Vanek has 277 goals and 279 assists in 663 games with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Canadiens.
Vanek's wife is from Minnesota and the Austrian makes his off-season home there, making the Wild a preferred destination for him.