[Bits] Strait to IR; In Minnesota, have your Vanek rumor cake and eat it too

They even made him a star of the game? That's crazy. - Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Look at those crazy Islanders, acquiring Thomas Vanek as if he might help them when we all know he's destined to help US.

Some New York Islanders bits of this and that, as well as the latest way Minnesota media find a reason to talk about the Isles:

Lines at practice sans Regin:

Vanek-Tavares-Okposo
Bouchard-Nielsen-Bailey
Grabner-Nelson-Clutterbuck
Martin-Boulton-Cizikas-McDonald

Minnesota Beat Writer Swears He's Not Trolling You

One of the strangely tamper-sounding things we heard after the Moulson-Vanek trade was how it was a foolish move because they're the Islanders, thus crazy Thomas Vanek is somehow destined to sign with Minnesota this summer anyway. It's apparently a certainty the way Zach Parise was supposedly a certainty to head home when his contract was up with the Devils, and we all know how that turned ou-...oh crap.)

Where did all this rumor mongering come from? Have Wild execs been tampering blabbing to team-friendly third-party conduits about Vanek too?

Minnesota beat writer (and self-described "ex-Islanders diehard/Newsday paperboy") Michael Russo, in the space of one "insider" column, calls the Islanders "crazy" (twice) for acquiring Vanek without a contract extension yet acknowledges he is to blame (emphasis mine) for... :

"... this Vanek frenzy because we have talked incessantly about the Austrian sniper being destined for Minnesota ... We have written about Vanek in the newspaper and blogs, talked about him on radio and TV..."

But now that Vanek is under a year away from free agency, it's time to "throw cold water" on all that.

The best part? Apparently after stoking this speculation for years -- even projecting the contract numbers it would take to get Vanek signed with the Wild -- now it's a "oh, nevermind" because the Wild have Mikael Granlund and, heh heh, Nino Niederreiter.

Tying a bow on the have-it-both-ways rumor-dancing:

"A month ago, I believed there was no doubt the Wild would pursue Vanek. Now, I wonder. Maybe it still happens. But there’s a long time between Nov. 3 and July 1."

Wait, like different teams' situations are different? And those situations and needs can change over time? Like one team might want a "play-me-or-trade-me, but really just trade me" Nino tomorrow, another might want a Vanek today? That's just crazy talk.

Crazy, like getting mired in hopeless and mini-Dater-like squabbles with Isles fans on Twitter. Crazy, like fanning Vanek speculation "incessantly" only to backtrack as the moment of truth gets closer. Crazy, like Twitter.

(To be fair, the "Haha Isles got Vanek but he's coming here or maybe not" is far from the craziest Isles fascination among staff at the Star-Tribune. And the prolific Russo's attachments to the Isles come naturally, from his roots, rather than via rampant Isles-fan-like insecurities about the local college team. So they've got that going for them. Which is nice.)

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