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Vanek would re-sign with Isles ‘even if they traded me’

Jan 23, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT

New York Islanders' Thomas Vanek (26) skates back toward his bench after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in New York. The Islanders won the game 5-3. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) AP

Thomas Vanek has enjoyed Long Island so much that — even if the Isles dealt him at the deadline — he’d consider re-signing there if he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.

Yes, that’s right.

From Newsday:

“I know Garth gave up a lot to get me here, so if they feel they need to get something back (by the deadline), I understand,” Vanek told Newsday. “He’s been great, the team has been great. No one has put any pressure on me.”

There haven’t been any substantive contract talks between the two sides, which just adds to the limbo of the situation. But even though Vanek hasn’t indicated via his agent or directly to Snow whether he’d be willing to sign before July 1, saying that the Islanders “would definitely be on my list” when free agency begins could be seen as a sign he’s not crossing them off to force a trade.

“Even if they traded me, sure,” Vanek said. “I like it here, it’s a good group of guys. This would be a place I’d consider if it gets to July 1.”

There is something of a precedent here. In 2007, St. Louis traded pending UFA Keith Tkachuk to Atlanta at the deadline, as the Blues were out of playoff contention while the Thrashers were primed to make the first postseason appearance in franchise history (which they did, before getting swept in Round 1.)

Tkachuk remained a Thrasher until four days before free agency, when he was dealt back to the Blues and signed to a two-year, $8 million deal.

Of course, Tkachuk had far more history with the Blues than Vanek did with the Isles, playing six seasons in St. Louis before getting dealt. Vanek has only played in 36 games with New York since being acquired from Buffalo in October.

  1. bullwinkle88 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    This headline is overblown. He said he’d “consider” the Islanders. I guess that’s a step up from his attitude when he arrived there, but it in no way removes the distinct possibility that he will go to Minnesota.

    • bcisleman - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      There’s a distinct possibility he’ll sign w/ whoever offers the most money. Garth needs to make a fair offer and trade him if he doesn’t sign. Then whatever happens happens.

      • 950003cups - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        Playing in the Barclay Center will help the Islanders draw crowds. Even I’ll go to games there. It’s unbelievably beautiful there. I went to the Devils vs Islanders preseason game there. It was fun!! And Devils fans showed up loud.

  2. elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    That might hurt his trade value a bit if he is moved as a rental. Maybe conditional picks help with that, but no one wants to hear a player they’re targeting has two destinations in mind already (including Minnesota) he’d consider signing with.

  3. youcallthathockeyblog - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Translation: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!

    • 950003cups - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM

  4. djshnooks - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Sabres will have the most cap-space of any time, I believe…and I would not put it past them to trade Moulson at the deadline, maybe Ott too…and bring both back in July. Heck, they might bring back Vanek too! lol.

    It’s certainly not impossible…especially if Ryan Miller stays and the start to bring in other quality pieces. However, I’d rather go after Ryan Callahan and Evander Kane or Ryan O’Reilly. They will be very active!

    • thomasvanek - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      I would love to sign Moulson, Ott, and Vanek but what are the odds that all will want to sign to the worst team in the league.

  5. rsl22 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    I don’t understand why more teams don’t take this approach. I get it that it’s technically illegal, but it seems easy enough to say under your breath:

    “Hey Tommy, we’re gonna trade you to a playoff team for a boatload of prospects and are going to try to improve our team. You should come back to us this summer when we are in a better place to ice a contender all thanks to a team mortgaging their future for an unlikely run at the Cup.”

  6. lbeezyse - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Where Vanek will sign can be described as cloudy at best. Plenty of teams will have cap space and need a scorer. My early bet is that he will sign here in MN. He lives here with his wife year round, he played here in college, & the Wild will have plenty of cap space to make a major play for him. He is also a played that we need(a proven scorer) I expect the Wild, Isles, & LA Kings among other teams to throw their hat in the ring.

  7. purpleguy - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    It’s pretty clear where he’ll be going in FA — every player gives lip service to his existing team to appease the media/fan base.

  8. gratescott - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    The LAST THING the Islanders need to do is sign Vanek, who’s going to command a maximum salary to stay with them. Buffalo fans we’re spot on when they called him lazy, and a cherry-picker. The effort he gave last night, or lack thereof, was pathetic. I have yet to see this guy backcheck or forecheck. He needs to be unloaded ASAP along with Garth Snow.

    How do you trade apples for apples and expect your team’s performance to vastly improve?? When you lead the Eastern Conference in Goals Allowed (175), upgrading the defense and goaltending situation should be your priority!

    2 playoff appearances in his 7 year reign! Might as well go ahead and make that 2 in EIGHT years now. This is pathetic. What other franchise would keep this guy in charge?

    Hey WANG!… grow a set and make a change at the top. It’s time to find someone capable of restoring the glory to LI!

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