The eventual success or failure of Thomas Vanek with the Wild has nothing to do with how Dany Heatley performed here. They are different people and different players. Let’s start from that premise, as we have previously written, to reaffirm that comparisons between the players aren’t exactly fair. But even if comparisons aren’t fair, they are in many ways uncanny. It means little in the future, but in the present it is apt. Let’s take a look then at the Wild’s acquisition of Heatley in 2011 and the signing of Vanek on Tuesday:
Heatley: Two seasons with a then-WCHA team (Wisconsin), where he tallied 113 points.
Vanek: Two seasons with a then-WCHA team (Minnesota), where he tallied 113 points.
Date acquired by the Wild:
Heatley: July 3, 2011
Vanek: July 1, 2014
Age when acquired by the Wild:
Heatley: 30 years, 5 months, 12 days
Vanek: 30 years, 5 months, 12 days
How he was acquired:
Heatley: Trade with San Jose
Vanek: Free agency
Money, years reportedly on Wild deal:
Heatley: 3 years, $19 million
Vanek: 3 years, $19.5 million
Previous NHL experience:
Heatley: Nine seasons with three teams
Vanek: Nine seasons with three teams
Previous scoring output:
Heatley: 325 goals, 364 assists
Vanek: 277 goals, 279 assists
Goals in last five non-lockout-shortened seasons before joining Wild:
Heatley: 50 (2006-07), 41 (2007-08), 39 (2008-09), 39 (2009-10), 26 (2010-11)
Vanek: 40 (2008-09), 28 (2009-19), 32 (2010-11), 26 (2011-12), 27 (2013-14)
Main reason for acquistion:
Heatley: To add punch from a proven goal-scoring wing to a squad that finished 26th in the NHL with 2.48 goals per game the season before he was acquired.
Vanek: To add punch from a proven goal-scoring wing to a squad that finished tied for 24th in the NHL with 2.43 goals per game the season before he was acquired.
Outcome of tenure with the Wild:
Heatley: 24 goals in first season in Minnesota, but just 23 combined in the next two for a total of 47 in three years.
Vanek: To be determined, though clearly the Wild is hoping for more than 47 goals over the next three years.