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Vanek: ‘I didn’t ask to be traded’

Aug 28, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

Thomas Vanek Getty Images

Sabres fans might be able to breathe a little easier today. Thomas Vanek isn’t looking to be traded.

Vanek spoke with reporters in Buffalo and said he has no idea where the talk of him wanting to be moved came from and that he’s happy to wait and see what the season brings. WGR’s Paul Hamilton shares the story.

“I never asked to be traded so when people do mention it, I’m surprised. Did I think I was going to get traded, no because I never once went in there and said I don’t want to be here. I said, ‘Right now I’m not looking for an extension, but not saying that I wouldn’t want one down the road, but right now I just want to see where it goes’.”

All right, so maybe breathing easier won’t totally happen, but at the very least Vanek isn’t looking to get out of town right away. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and he said he wants to keep his options open. One thing he’s said is he doesn’t want to stick around for a long rebuild.

GM Darcy Regier’s options are to either extend him or deal him before the deadline before possibly losing him for nothing. That’s the same situation goalie Ryan Miller is in as well. If either player is to be moved, plenty of teams will want in on them for the right price.

Related: Vanek preparing for season in Buffalo, but admits situation not ‘best-case scenario’

  1. hockey412 - Aug 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    He’s not looking for an extension and he’s not looking to be a part of a rebuild. Man…for a guy who’s not asking to be traded, he’s just ASKING to be traded.

    Can’t let that kind of talent walk without getting anything back. They have to.

    • elemeno89 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Seems like he can’t decide if he really wants to stay or go. In that case, ship him off and get something in return. I can think that a few team on the edge would love a scorer of his calibre to help them in the playoffs, and would pay a pretty penny to do so.

    • 19to77 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      He’s being smart about how he handles it. We all saw how the Nash debacle unfolded – star player, full NTC, wants to go to a good team but the GM wants a major haul in return. Nash ended up having to sit on his hands until the offseason before Scott Howson finally caved. Vanek doesn’t want to do that. He won’t demand a trade but he doesn’t want to rebuild, so he’s basically forced the ball into Regier’s court. I’m sure he’ll quietly refuse a trade if he doesn’t like where he’d be going, but he seems to want to leave Buffalo without a lot of public drama.

      • jernster21 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        …except Vanek doesn’t have any sort of NTC/NMC so if Regier wants to trade him, he will to whoever he wants.

      • 19to77 - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Huh. I’ll be damned, he doesn’t. With a contract of that length and value I just figured he’d have trade protection. GMs almost always have to concede that to their best players. Guess that’s because it was the Oilers’ offer sheet Buffalo matched and not one he negotiated with the Sabres themselves.

      • warchief65 - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        19to77, the Sabres toldother teams that they will keep Vanek , but , the Oilers GM thought that he would offer a contract that the Sabres would not match . The Oilers GM did the same thing to another team , ( I think it was the King’s , I can’t recall ) . Any hoo , that’s why he doesn’t have a job as a GM . Any more .

        Vanek told the team , that if they are going rebuild the Sabres , he doesn’t want be there for that . He’s not ” demanding ” a trade , but he doesn’t want be here either . He wants to win now , not 5 years from now . As far as the Sabres , they have showed that they would rather not get anything in turn , and let a player walk away .

  2. hockeydon10 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    He’s totally hedging his bets.

    If they do good this year and it looks like a short rebuild, I can see his statements lining up with signing an extension.

    If they crash and burn this year, I can see his statements lining up with causing no static being traded.

  3. 19to77 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Jesus. That headline totally made me think he had been traded.

  4. ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    ‘ Should I stay or should I go ‘

  5. malvaren18 - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Miller should head north to the Oil Country, where he could make an Young Oilers team a contender.

  6. nolockoutpricks - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    dont worry in ten short months you can leave that garbage team and come back home to a real contender. he’s a lock to sign with the wild

    • timmyp716 - Aug 29, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      If they had any money left….

      • lbeezyse - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        This year no, the Wild don’t have much wiggle room with the cap.

        Next year is a completely different story. Heatley and his 7+ million come off the books, Mark Parish’s 1+ million buyout is off the books, Pommers 4.5 million(but I expect him to be signed to a similar contract, maybe less), Ruper & Konopka’s combined 2.5+ million come off the books as well. With an increasing cap the Wild will have plenty of room to sign a top end FA like Vanek or maybe Kessel. The Wild could have close to 30 million to play with, but our youngsters will need to be locked up as well.

  7. allday420ap - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    No need to bash the sabres, but yes it is likely that Vanek willl come play for the wild which would be awesome.

  8. billysabre - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Keep dreaming Wild fans. You’re a middling team going nowhere fast. Vanek And Miller will be dealt by the deadline if not sooner.

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