Thomas Vanek LW MIN 18 Days

Vanek is expected to play on the Wild's top line while Zach Parise (upper body) remains unavailable, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The Wild's third line wasn't exactly fantasy purgatory, but joining Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville on the top trio should represent something of a small uptick in value for Vanek. The Wild's top get in free agency, Vanek has netted only one goal in 11 games, instead turning his focus on setting up his mates. Vanek should only see more chances to build on his team-leading total of seven assists while working alongside Pominville, with whom he has some familiarity with from their time in Buffalo together.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 21 Days

Vanek scored a power play goal in Saturday's win over Dallas.

It was Vanek's first goal of the season and the Wild's first power play goal of the season (they started 0-for-28). Vanek was moved to a new line three games ago and it seems to have given him a spark with four points in his last three games.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 23 Days

Vanek has been accused of betting $250,000 on football with a bookie by a witness during an investigation in a federal illegal gambling and money laundering case in Rochester, N.Y. where Vanek has appeared as a witness. However, Vanek's agent, Steve Bartlett, says his client is not subject to any investigation. "If you read it quickly or if you read it quickly, it almost alludes to the fact that Thomas vanek was involved in money laundering, which is totally false," Bartlett told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He is not the subject of any investigation or criminal charges or anything whatsoever. He was a witness against this guy who was the bookmaker. He was the guy that wanted money and Thomas paid it to him. Thomas wasn't involved in any bookmaking activities."

Vanek admits to betting on football through the bookie, but not to money laundering. The NHL says it's monitoring the investigation, but the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHL Players' Association only prohibits betting on hockey, which Vanek is not accused of. As a result it doesn't look like Vanek faces any disciplinary action from the NHL, but it's worth monitoring the case.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 23 Days

Vanek had the primary assist on both of Kyle Brodziak's third-period goals Thursday as the Wild erased a 3-1 lead and went on to beat the Sharks in a shootout.

So far, so good for Vanek since being shifted to a line with Brodziak and Nino Niederreiter, as he's notched three assists in two games. Curiously, the four-time 30-goal scorer hasn't yet found the net this season. It doesn't help that he's not shooting much -- Vanek's put just two pucks on net in the last five games. That's obviously a far cry from his typical shot rate.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 28 Days

Vanek dished out two assists in Saturday's win over the visiting Lightning.

Slowly but surely, Vanek is adjusting to life in the State of Hockey and getting his points (four in six games). The Wild have been great so far, posting a 4-2 record and getting offensive production throughout their lineup while outscoring opponents 19-6. Vanek is surrounded by a talented supporting cast both at even strength (Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle) and on the power play (Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu), so he should flirt with his usual point-per-game pace this season, with many of his goals coming in bunches.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 1 Month

Vanek (finger) was on the ice for practice Tuesday, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

As was suggested two days earlier, Vanek appears to be fine after taking a puck to his thumb Sunday, with the Wild showing no trepidation about his availability for Thursday's tilt with the Coyotes. What is probably more concerning for Vanek owners has been the forward's lack of production through four games (no goals, one assist), but that could soon be remedied by the addition of the Charlie Coyle to his line. The speedy Coyle could create matchup issues for the opposition, thereby softening the defensive attention Vanek receives.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 1 Month

Vanek felt fine following Sunday's game despite being struck on the thumb by a puck, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Vanek said he felt some soreness in his thumb immediately after being hit, but he appeared to be no worse for the wear following the game. He will have a few days to give his thumb some rest with the Wild off until Thursday.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 1 Month

Vanek took a puck to the hand and suffered a thumb injury, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.

He missed most of the second period with the injury, but Vanek did return to the game after the incident. His return does not necessarily mean he will be ready to go for the Wild's next game on Thursday, but he was able to handle the pain today in his return.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 2 Months

Vanek (general soreness) has played in each of the Wild's last two preseason contests.

Vanek was dinged up in last Thursday's contest against the Penguins, but it didn't take long for him to return to full health. He failed to tally a point in either of the two contests he played, but the Wild will continue to carve out a role for him on the second line this season. He'll likely play alongside Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle.

Thomas Vanek LW MIN 2 Months

Vanek likely won't play in Saturday's exhibition game against the Jets since he's dealing with soreness "after getting bumped" in Thursday's exhibition game, Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press reports.

Vanek's status seems to be precautionary when considering that the Wild's first game of the season is on Oct. 9. A little added rest will be the norm in the preseason before the long grueling season starts and time off the ice is less affordable.