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Vanek knows he could be traded ‘tomorrow’

Jan 7, 2014, 5:25 PM EST

Thomas Vanek, John Tavares AP

Thomas Vanek is a pending unrestricted free agent on a New York Islanders team that doesn’t look like it’s going to be in playoff contention once the March 5 trade deadline rolls around.

Recently, NHL.com asked the 29-year-old winger about his contract situation and what he’s thinking less than three months after being traded to Long Island from Buffalo.

“Well, I’m not ignorant about it,” Vanek said. “I know the scenario and what could happen for me. But my thought process is I do like it here. This team to me is really a team. I think the potential is a lot more than we’ve shown. We’ve shown we can play with the best teams.

“Hopefully I can then stay here and finish off the year, but I do understand the business side of it. Am I worried if I get a phone call tomorrow about something? No, I’m really not. It’s the business side of it. So be it. This business is what I signed up for. We’re talking. I like it here. I do think there’s a ways to go, but you never know.”

Vanek has 11 goals and 16 assists in 28 games for the Isles, and a future playing alongside John Tavares is certainly an enticing one for any player to imagine. But like Vanek says, there’s a business side to this, and right now he’s looking at a contract similar to, say, the eight-year, $64 million extension Phil Kessel got in Toronto. Is that something the Isles would be willing to entertain? And if it is, would he sign the extension before the trade deadline? Because the Isles won’t want to risk losing him for nothing.

  1. hockey412 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    If he doesn’t sign they HAVE to trade him. I agree they won’t risk losing out.

  2. matt14gg - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Claude Julien cannot coach a goal scorer (he neuters them and makes them backcheck and play a conservative offensive style, thus neutralizing any scoring punch, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), so it probably wouldn’t happen, but I’d love to see the Bruins add him for a playoff run.

    • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      but! He can coach a team to win the SC. Right?

      • matt14gg - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Yes, note the part where I said it “isn’t necessarily a bad thing”

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        No, Thomas won that Cup

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        And TT will win another one with the Panthers this year. Right? :-)

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Julien was going to be fired that year until Thomas showcased the greatest post-season goaltending performance of all time.

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        I agree with you, which is why they fired Dineen, and TT will once again showcase the next greatest post-season goaltending performance of all time. BTW, of all time doesn’t mean since you were 10 years old. All time goes back to the early 1900s.

      • shaundre93 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        you could say that about one single player for just about any team that ever wins the cup. Toews won it for the hawks, Quick won it for the Kings etc etc… I seriously doubt he would have been fired unless they got swept in that first series. PC knew what he had

    • Moop - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      I doubt it would happen, with the Bruins needing more help on defense as it is, but I would make that deal if only to prevent Vanek from killing the Bruins like he always does if he is still with an Eastern Conference team come playoff time.

    • stepanup - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Where is this need for Vanek? He doesn’t play the style of the B’s, and there’s just no fit. Iginla and Lucic are perfect wingers for Krejci, and Smith/Marchand/Eriksson will be great complements for Bergeron on the second line. With the Bruins philosophy and play style they do NOT need or want a Vanek.

  3. greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    It’s virtually a lock that Vanek will sign with Minnesota. It makes too much sense for both sides to not get it done. He’s said he wants to go back home, Pominville pulled him off to the side after the game basically begging him to sign there after their game last week. He lives in Minnesota, and is married to a woman from Minnesota. Wild have the cap room, thanks to Heatley’s 7.5 million coming off the books. He won’t be resigned, the Wild would have used their amnesty clause on him last summer, but was hurt, so they couldn’t. Vanek is exactly what the Wild need, someone who can put the damn puck in the net.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:46 AM

      And right now, Wild scoring is so concentrated, they really need another proven scorer. Can’t depend on shutting out teams.

  4. powerpop18 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Garth Snow is in the pocket of owner Charles Wang and will let Vanek go for a bucket of pucks. He replaced the Islanders best defenseman, Mark Streit, with no one!

  5. joeyashwi - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Vanek to Minny please!!!

  6. jr507 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Being that they’ve won 5 of their last 6 and have points in 9 of 12, maybe we should slow down on predicting where this team will be in March. Perhaps they are now playing like the team people expected going in to the season?

    • bcisleman - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      Isles are 6 points out of the last playoff spot with 37 games (and 74 possible points) left. They are hardly out of it. If Vanek REALLY wants to stay, all he has to do is sign on the dotted line.

  7. endusersolutions2013 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    The other thing to consider is that Philly was a disaster earlier in the year. NYI has taken 14 of their last 20 possible points, including winning a 3-2 OT game vs. the Hawks. Remembering the runs that Kings have made (successful) and the run the BJs had last year missing the playoffs via a tiebreaker in a shortened season, I would not count them out, and I’m not an NYI fan.

    What I don’t get is their standing pat on goalies after their Nabokov playoff disaster last year (.842 save % ?)

  8. manchot66 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    He’d look great in a Hawks sweater. How about packaging Bickell for him, he’s overpaid and been useless so far.

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