Tuesday July 1st, 2014

The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Thomas Vanek to a three-year contract reportedly worth $19.5 million, the NHL announced on Tuesday. 

While originally from Austria, it's a bit of a homecoming for Vanek, who played for the University of Minnesota in college and was still living in the state with his family during offseasons. It's a move that the Wild have been expected to make for some time after Vanek became an unrestricted free agent. 

The 30-year-old Vanek even took a pay cut to play in Minnesota. After making $7.1 million per season under his old contract, he will earn $6.5 million per season with the Wild. 

"Thomas is an elite offensive talent who showed a strong desire to play in Minnesota," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We are excited to welcome him to our organization."

Vanek spent the 2013-14 season with three different teams: the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and Montreal Canadiens. Altogether, he totaled 27 goals and 68 points.

MORE NHL: Free agent tracker | Free agency signing blog

Molly Geary

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