Vanek keeps an eye on team’s progress

Minnesota forward and ex-Buffalo teammate Jason Pominville said he’s asked daily about the prospects of Vanek rejoining him.

Vanek understands the interest but didn’t get asked about it much while he was home.

“I shelter myself pretty good,” he said. “I’ve got three boys at home, so I don’t leave the house too much besides going to skate and work out.”

The Wild was remade into a contender before last season by signing stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They locked up Pominville for five more years this month.

“It changed the culture of their team,” Vanek said. “You add two players like that, it just obviously elevates your team right away.”

Vanek will do his best to improve the Sabres’ future while he’s in Buffalo, though he knows it won’t be easy based on the early season struggles.