RandBall

Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

261271731

TFD: The Vanek and Heatley comparisons are natural, but are they fair?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 16th at 10:54am 265460061

vanekDany Heatley was 30 years old when the Wild acquired him in a trade with San Jose in 2011. He was a natural goal scorer, having potted 245 goals in his previous six seasons. Even though the totals had been diminishing, it was assumed Heatley could still provide 25-30 goals a year for the Wild playing out the final three years of a contract that would pay him $19 million.

Instead, Heatley scored just 47 goals total in three seasons with the Wild. He had his moments, and he was a good guy in the locker room any time we dealt with him, but overall he certainly did not deliver nearly as many goals as the Wild and fans would have hoped.

The natural fear, then, is that Thomas Vanek — signed by the Wild on Tuesday — winds up as the next Heatley. Both are forwards with a knack for putting the puck in the net. Vanek, like Heatley, is a former WCHA player (Gophers vs. Badgers) who is 30 at the time of joining the Wild. (Their birthdays are even two days apart). He has a remarkably similar contract in terms of his time here (3 years, $19.5 million). His goal scoring totals have declined to the point that 25 or 30 might be considered a good season, rather than the 40 he delivered a couple times in his younger days. His performance in the playoffs this season did not inspire confidence, though it might have helped the Wild when it came to the years and money on the contract.

Is the comparison between Vanek and Heatley natural? Absolutely. There are too many similarities too ignore. Are they fair? They’re not fair — yet. We need to see how Vanek performs because no two players are the same. The Wild could end up getting a tremendous bargain if he’s the player they think he is — which is to say he’s the player they thought they were also getting in Heatley. Or Minnesota could be saddled with a big cap hit and not enough production.

Time will tell, but for now we’ll give Vanek the benefit of the doubt.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia 10 Bottom 9th Inning
Washington 4
LA Angels 0 Bottom 11th Inning
Baltimore 0
Seattle 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Cleveland 5
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 1
Minnesota 2 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 6
Toronto 5 Top 8th Inning
Houston 5
Pittsburgh 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Arizona 0
Atlanta 0 Top 2nd Inning
Los Angeles 1
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Tulsa 75
Phoenix 67 FINAL
Minnesota 75
New York 74 FINAL
Chicago 87
Indiana 14 1st Qtr 4:39
Seattle 10

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much are mosquitoes bugging you this summer?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT