Thomas Vanek at a glance

Position:  right wing • Size: 6-2, 215 pounds

Age: 30. Vanek was born in Austria in 1984, two years after his parents emigrated from then-Czechoslovakia. He moved to the U.S. at age 14 to play junior hockey.

College: Minnesota. He played two seasons for the Gophers (2002-04), scoring 57 goals in 83 games. He led the Gophers in scoring both seasons, and was MVP of the NCAA Frozen Four as a freshman in 2003 as they won their second consecutive national title.

Pros: Taken fifth overall in the 2003 NHL draft by Buffalo. Played one season for Rochester (AHL) before joining the Sabres. Scored 254 goals in eight-plus seasons in Buffalo. With his seven-year, $50 million contract expiring, he was traded the Islanders, then the Canadiens, during last season and scored a combined 27 goals.

Personal: Vanek and his wife, Ashley, have a home in Stillwater and have three sons.

Contract: Three years, $19.5 million.