Report: Wild to 'spend whatever it takes' to sign Canadiens' Vanek

Justin Cuthbert
Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports

If Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold has it his way, Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek's career will come full circle.

The former Minnesota Golden Gopher, who will explore free agency in search of a long-term deal after donning three different sweaters this season, is reportedly Minnesota's top priority this summer, according to Charley Walters of The St. Paul Pioneer Press.  

This summer, look for Leipold, the Wild owner, to spend whatever it takes -- probably another $40 million or so -- to add free agent Thomas Vanek to the roster.

After Leipold invested over $196 million in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter two summers ago, fitting the contract Vanek covets under the cap would appear farfetched. However, with Dany Heatley's $7.5 million cap hit scheduled to come off the books, the Wild will have the wherewithal, at least, to lure Vanek into harvest green. 

Vanek finished with 27 goals and 68 points this season with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and Canadiens. He has now scored at least 25 goals in each of his eight full seasons in the league.