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Vanek thinks trade might be best if Sabres want ‘long rebuild’

Apr 27, 2013, 3:58 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek AP

The Buffalo Sabres’ season is over, so now the question is: What will their 2013-14 squad look like?

There’s no shortage of speculation about a potential Ryan Miller trade. 29-year-old forward Thomas Vanek might be gone too. In fact, it sounds like he’d prefer to leave if the Sabres plan on doing a full rebuild.

“Let’s be honest,” Vanek told the Buffalo News. “I’m not stupid. I know I have a year left and they can probably deal me for prospects, young guys, whatever else is out there. Yeah, I’ve thought about it. If it looks like it’s a long rebuild, then it probably makes sense for both parties to move on.”

That also implies that Vanek is willing to stick with the Sabres if they intend to prioritize making the playoffs next season over building through the draft.

“I don’t know what the plan is,” Vanek said. “If they’re turning it over to the younger guys, it’s a turnover. Or are they going to build around us again? It’s all speculation at this point because you guys don’t know and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

This is the second straight season that Buffalo has failed to make the postseason. The franchise acquired a combination of draft picks and prospects in separate trades for Jason Pominville, Robyn Regehr, and Jordan Leopold in the days leading up to the trade deadline.

Vanek led the Sabres with 20 goals and 41 points in 38 games this season. He comes with a $7,142,857 annual cap hit.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    The Bruins would like to see you gone from Buffalo as well.

    • rsmaggiemae - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Minnesota would love to get Vanek as he lives here in the off season..
      Pomanville and Vanek would be great for the Wild…
      we have tons of young players to be traded for Vanek…
      Thats been the talk here in Minnesota since we got Pomanville…
      Get Vanek…

  2. billsin20xx - Apr 27, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    We have been rebuilding for the last 14 years under Regier. How long of a rebuild does he see now?
    Regier will be working to rebuild the team he has rebuilt about three times already.

    If Pegula isn’t smart enough to get rid of Regier I don’t know why anybody would want to play here.

  3. buffalomafia - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    I agree get rid of Regeire & Bud Black!

    Then dump players that can’t score like Kaleta & a bunch of other guys!

    Then tell Tyler “Tinker Bell” Myers to hit the weight room & learn how to fight!

    We need players that could score?!?!

    Please do not trade Ryan Miller out west for a bag of pucks!

    Thank you!!!!!!

  4. 13kensington - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Kaleta obviously doesn’t put much on the board but you really underestimate his presence. He does his job… he plays twice as hard as almost anyone else on the team, and earns his paycheck unlike most of the Sabres’ roster. He has thrown entire teams off their game consistently and that is a pretty worthwhile contribution in my opinion. I want to like Myers really bad but he was a serious liability this year and honestly looked scared 99% of the time. Obviously he needs to develop further and learn to use his size. If he doesn’t shape up in the coming year something needs to be done with him. Hecht, I salute your service and wish you well!

    It will obviously be hard to watch Vanek and Miller get traded but I can understand both sides of their perspective coins. The two of them and Ott were really the only reason to watch the Sabres this year and that sucks.

  5. 19to77 - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    Any speculation on where he goes if they do trade him?

  6. kgun80 - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    13 Kensington… I agree completely. To have a complete roster you need different types of players and Kaleta does his job very well.
    I have already come to the realization that Miller will be gone. An aging goalie who is going to carry a big cap hit just isn’t feasible to keep around when you have so many holes to plug and the team looks pretty far off from being an actual contender. But I really don’t know where to stand on Vanek unless you get a big return you can’t just hand him over.
    That being said you have a guy like Hodgson you have a player who looks like a future star you can build around so if you can trade and get some players around him I would say its time to move in from Vanek.

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