Nov 5, 2012, 11:59 AM EST
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.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
Two teams meet for the second time this season.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:12 PM EST
After an injury to Brian Elliott.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Yappy Lappy was at it again.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:06 PM EST
“Anybody can GM, anybody can be a president… whether you’re going to be good at it or not, who knows.”
Nov 26, 2014, 3:54 PM EST
San Jose coach is feeling the heat.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
Click for video of the incident.
Nov 26, 2014, 2:57 PM EST
Minny dominated L.A. early in the season, but lost 2-1.
Nov 26, 2014, 2:45 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Nov 26, 2014, 2:27 PM EST
Originally out 4-6 weeks, he’s back in just over three.
Nov 26, 2014, 2:04 PM EST
But how much public money will be required?
Nov 26, 2014, 1:03 PM EST
The Blues are one of the few teams in the NHL with a surplus of quality centers.
Nov 26, 2014, 12:57 PM EST
Jordan Binnington on his way up to St. Louis.
Nov 26, 2014, 12:22 PM EST
What are the chances the Islanders, Leafs, Predators, Canucks, Flames and Jets can hang on?
Nov 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Fall from grace for the former 30-goal scorer.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:42 AM EST
Out “a couple of weeks” with a lower-body injury.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:28 AM EST
Arizona forward forced the Avs d-man from the game.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Dallas forward does have a history with the NHL’s player safety department.
Nov 26, 2014, 10:58 AM EST
To cheer, or boo? That’s the query.
Nov 26, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
Two teams headed down different paths?
Nov 26, 2014, 10:03 AM EST
He missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
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