If you take a look at the Minnesota Wild fanbase, you’ll see a split opinion on Thomas Vanek. Some fans will argue that he’s doing just what he needs to do, but others will say he isn’t doing enough for the team. If you look at the stats, it will tend to lead to the conclusion that Vanek has decreased his production since arriving in Minnesota. However, there is more to a player than just his statistics. Within the last 2 seasons, he has gone between 4 teams. He started out the 2013-14 season in Buffalo, found himself playing on the Islanders, and later on landed in Montreal. That offseason, he signed a 3-year contract with Minnesota and has been there since. As you can imagine, that’s more than enough adjusting for him to have to deal with in many ways. Not only does he have to pack up and move to a new city, he has to learn how to work with new teammates in a new system with new coaches.
If you look at the simple numbers of production, such as his points, it was a bit of a down year for him. However, he might be getting criticized even more due to the fact that his numbers in the playoffs were subpar and the Wild as a team have again failed to improve themselves in the playoffs. Many are wondering if he is just naturally declining or if it is just a case of bad luck. Vanek had shown multiple times last season that he still has talent, but at the same time he isn’t getting any younger. It mainly seems like this season was a case of bad luck, and that could easily be fixed by just giving him some time. He bounced around a lot recently, so if he is given time to adjust to the Wild’s system and the players his numbers certainly could start to go up again. If he happens to find chemistry with his linemates in Minnesota like he did with Pacioretty and Desharnais in Montreal, there’s no telling what he could be capable of doing. It’s hard to wait and give him more time to bounce back, but it’s very important to do. Chemistry is one of the few things in this league that can’t be rushed.