Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers intend on touching base with Thomas Vanek, recently bought out by the Minnesota Wild, on a one-year deal. The Wild bought out the final year of Vanek’s deal that would have paid him $6.5 million. It wasn’t that Vanek wasn’t productive, 18-23-41 last season, it’s that Minnesota needed the space.
Vanek on a one-year deal is something I can see the Rangers doing if they are indeed clearing room for Steven Stamkos. In this scenario, Rick Nash likely needs to be traded to clear the room, and Vanek is someone who could –at least in the extremely short term– try to fill that gap.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for this scenario, as Nash is still the superior player to Vanek. But in this scenario where Stamkos appears to be the target, looking at Vanek would be the next logical step on offense.