BUFFALO -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said the decision to buy out the final year of forward Thomas Vanek's contract boiled down to a financial decision.
In doing so, the Wild gets an additional $5 million in cap space for this offseason, giving Minnesota approximately $14 million to spend this summer.
"It’s always difficult. Thomas came here for all the right reasons," Fletcher said. " But unfortunately for our situation, we needed to clear some cap space and that was the easiest way for us to get the space we feel we need to move forward this summer."
Fletcher said after the Wild came to the decision, there was no point in waiting to announce it and allow speculation to build. He said making the buyout official so close to the beginning of the 2016 NHL Draft doesn't mean he expects to make a trade Friday night.
"I think expecting would be a strong word," he said. "We're excited about our pick at 15, and we've had conversations with teams, and starting tomorrow we'll have the ability to maybe see what's out in the free agent market. We're not in any rush; we're just looking to make the right decision."