Thomas Vanek has been out of the lineup in three of four games since taking a cross check to the ribs from Chicago’s Viktor Svedberg on March 29. Friday, coach John Torchetti announced that he’s going to miss “more than a week” of play after aggravating an upper-body injury.
That span will have him missing at least the first two games of the Wild’s opening round playoff series.
Vanek briefly skated in Thursday’s optional practice to see if he was ready to return, but was reported to have left that practice rather quickly.
While his play has been derided at times and he’s been made a healthy scratch by both former coach Mike Yeo and Coach Torchetti, Vanek remains one of the team’s most productive offensive drivers.
He’s second on the team in primary assists per hour of even strength play, and he’s fourth on the team points per 60 minutes. His absence is significant for a team that could be facing a high-scoring Dallas Stars team in the first round of the playoffs.
Vanek currently has 18 goals and 41 points, which ranks seventh on the team.
Additionally, Michael Russo reports that Zach Parise is likely to sit out the season finale against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.