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Vanek isn’t ‘complaining’ about the Wild’s centers, but....

Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle

Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle


Maybe Thomas Vanek was just being honest when he told the Star Tribune, “If I wanted points and goals, I would have signed with the Islanders and had a center like Johnny [Tavares] and a winger like Kyle [Okposo].”

And maybe he was just being honest when he said of the team he did sign with, the Minnesota Wild: “We don’t have maybe the strongest depth in the middle.”

We recommend you read the entire interview before you pass judgment. (“I’m not complaining about centers and [frequent center Charlie Coyle],” the 31-year-old winger insisted. “I’m just explaining why I was less than a shooter last year.”)

But there’s a reason many pro athletes choose to say as little as possible. These comments are going to get a lot of play in Minnesota.

Some will say that Vanek is absolutely right, that the Wild are lacking something down the middle with Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Coyle and Erik Haula.

Others will contend that Vanek is just making excuses for a poor season, one in which he scored just 21 goals in 80 games.

Related: Everyone’s ripping Vanek again