Nov 5, 2012, 11:59 AM EDT
Thomas Vanek is coming home — and ready to play in the NHL again.
That’s the word out of Austrian on Monday as Vanek left the Graz 99ers after his monthlong contract expired.
The Sabres sniper notched 15 points in 11 games for the 99ers and praised the level of play in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, calling it “good, fast hockey” — yet was noncommittal about returning, saying he’s hopeful CBA negotiations have taken a turn for the better.
“I get asked if I’ll return after the international break all the time,” Vanek said on his website. “That may well be, but certainly not right after the break. I want to wait how the negotiations between league and PA are going.
“It seems as if things are going forward a bit.”
The international break covers the first two weeks of November and is often used by a number of NHLers to return home (like Boston’s Tyler Seguin.)
That said, most go home with the intention of returning to Europe.
Oh, and since we profiled Matt Duchene’s displeasure with Swedish League officiating earlier, here’s an interesting note — Vanek took time to rip Austrian league referees in his farewell post.
“What I certainly will not miss are the referees,” he said. “Their performance was… well, let’s just say that I’d rather forget about them.”
Now, this isn’t meant to be a “grass isn’t always greener” post. Far from it. Vanek was hugely complimentary of his time in Austria, calling it a once in a lifetime experience — but at the same time, it’s hard to ignore successive complaints about poor European officiating…from two fairly noteworthy NHL stars.
It’s just another reminder that, at the end of the day, these guys clearly miss playing in the best league in the world.
Oct 26, 2014, 12:54 AM EDT
Jumping around a busy Saturday night.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT
Was it a dirty hit?
Oct 25, 2014, 11:11 PM EDT
Patric Hornqvist didn’t star, but grabbed an assist.
Oct 25, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT
Seems like a broken record, right?
Oct 25, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
Maybe the headline should read goaltending optional instead?
Oct 25, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
Dougie Hamilton’s had a strong night.
Oct 25, 2014, 8:57 PM EDT
Challenging night for Tampa Bay.
Oct 25, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Things didn’t look particularly “right” on Saturday.
Oct 25, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT
Oct 25, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT
Habs face Chris Kreider, David Backes vs. Brent Seabrook on Saturday.
Oct 25, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT
Yikes on so many levels.
Oct 25, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT
Patric Hornqvist plays in Nashville as a visitor for the first time.
Oct 25, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
The 21-year-old was recalled Friday.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
No penalty on the play.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
The rookie defensmen were recalled Friday.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT
A rematch of last spring’s playoff series.
Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Suffered a skate cut to his right eyelid Friday night.
Oct 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Antti Raanta and Brian Elliott go head-to-head as the Blackhawks and Blues battle in St. Louis.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
The coach was quick to call home following Wednesday’s practice.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Habs’ starter was injured in Game 1 of last spring’s Eastern Conference final against New York.
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