Vanek to Minnesota?

We’ll see how it all shakes out, but I would be surprised if Thomas Vanek landed anywhere but Minnesota after his seven-year contract worth $50 million expires.

Vanek already made more money than he imagined before signing the deal. No matter where, or if, the Sabres trade him, his top priority after the 2013-14 season will be finding a team that can contend for a Stanley Cup title.

It would not be surprising if he accepted less money after next season for an opportunity to play for a good team. The Wild already have Zach Parise and Ryan Suter locked into long-term deals and appear committed to winning a Cup by any means possible.

Vanek spends his offseasons in Minnesota, his wife’s home state. The chances would improve greatly if Jason Pominville, his linemate in Buffalo, signed an extension for the same reason.