Former Buffalo Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek will be bought out by the Minnesota Wild.
It’s a sizeable fall from grace for the fifth overall draft pick in 2003.
Following trades to the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens during the 2013-14 season, Vanek signed a three-year deal with the Wild. In his first season, he put up 21 goals and 52 points, then dropped 18 goals and 41 points in 74 games this year despite being a healthy scratch.
The move gives the Wild salary cap savings as Vanek will only count as $1.5 this year and $2.5 million in 2017-2018 season.
Vanek has 316 goals and 333 assists for 649 points in 817 NHL games. He hit the 40 goal mark twice with Buffalo (43 in 2006-07 and 40 in 2008-09).
Once the buyout is complete, Vanek, 32, will be an unrestricted free agent.