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Report: Vanek rejects ‘substantial’ offer from Isles, likely to be dealt

Feb 3, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

Some big news out of Long Island, from Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

The report comes after Vanek said he’d be open to the idea of sticking with the Isles, be it through a new deal or returning after a potential deadline trade. The Austrian forward is set to become a free agent in July and, last week, said he’d think about coming back to New York.

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.”

Vanek’s in the final year of a seven-year, $50 million deal, so one can only imagine what New York’s “substantial” offer looked like. If Vanek did indeed turn it down, it gives a good gauge of his desire to hit the open market this summer, where he’ll be one of the most sought-after free agents available — in a year where the cap is expected to rise to $71 million.

As for the immediate future, expect Vanek to be in heavy (or, heavier) demand as Mar. 5 draws near.

  1. deadrabbit79 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Wonderful…..Juuuuuuuuuust wonderful

    • 950003cups - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      I’m thinking all these good pending FAs are salivating over the thought of how the market treated guys like Parise and ESPECIALLY Clarkson (he needs to come back to NJ) why wouldn’t every good player test FA? That’s what it’s about. Vanek may be waiting to see if he could get a $70 million deal.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        there’s still a lot of work that needs done for the islanders to compete seriously so he might just not want to wait around and hope they get their ducks in a row. part of free agency is also getting to choose where you play, its not always the $$ amount for some guys. after being with buffalo, now the islanders, i wouldnt blame him wanting to play for a winner whether he says that publicly or not.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        Not everyone wants to test the free agency market. If your big name on a Cup contending team (Crosby, etc.), or the face of a franchise (Ovechkin, etc), or a player that had made his mark on a team doing the little things right and your in a good situation, the those situations will take care of you.

        Free agency is used to get out of bad situations, such as not seeing eye to eye with a coach or whatever problem you may have with an organization. Or vice a versa when a team is sick of your antics, they low ball you or not even bother giving an offer.

  2. robnas94 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Well it won’t be NYI and it probably also won’t be Minnesota. Look for Colorado to make a push for him.

    • stepanup - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Not sure if I’ve disagreed more with a one-line post. Minnesota makes perfect sense (ties to the area, current areas of need, prospect depth, window for Koivu/Parise/Pominville), while Colorado makes no sense with how much dynamic scoring youth they have. Colorado would be best served adding a depth defenseman.

      • guitarhunterdude - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        I don’t think Minnesota will push for him at the deadline. We aren’t competing for anything this year, so there’s no point in giving up assets to get him here at the deadline if we think we can get him here this summer.

        Of course, that’s what I thought about Pominville, too. If we could get him for Zucker, a couple mid-round picks and a defensive prospect, I’d do it, but I there will almost certainly be a better offer from the Kings.

      • stepanup - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Toffoli would have to be included, and I’m not sure I’d do that if I were the Kings. I dont see Vanek being the same kind of fit Carter was.

      • hockey412 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Minnesota is in a wild card spot currently, and GM’s are competitive bastards…I agree with the Minnesota comment in part but I’d bet they might be willing to make a deal early if it wasn’t too lopsided.

  3. adlent - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Want Neuvy? Or Erat? Caps certainly need a top 4 D, but when Joel Ward is your second-leading goal scorer after Ovi, we need some scoring help, too.

    • trick9 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Yeah no thanks to Vanek at the TDL. Caps are not even in a playoff spot right now so would rather avoiding paying the kings ransom and just wait until he hits the open market as he seems determined to do that.

      Give him 7.5m AAV and 4-6 years to see what happens. If he turns that down then i don’t even want him. Dump Erat, Neuvirth and possibly Laich to get the cap space.

  4. xdj511 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Vanek for Cally straight up?

    Before you start freaking out, yes that was a joke,

  5. rlecchino - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    good riddance to his lazy no defense style of play. turnovers galore. they better get something of significance after ruining chemistry of first line and power play after not addressing the true needs of the team… goaltending and defense.

    • islesjb - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      umm the first line of JT Vanek and Okposo has been one of the best in the league over the last several months so I don’t think they see how they ruined the first line’s chemistry.

      Agree that goaltending and D have always been the main issue

  6. bcisleman - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    At least initially, Nelson will assume 1st line LW duties–although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Anders Lee called up to take on that role.

    As the Wild are a likely target, Garth should insist that Darcy Kuemper be part of any deal. In fact, a proven young goalie should be part of the deal no matter where Vanek is traded. AMac should be worth a good young goalie prospect as well.

    • strictlythedanks - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      The wild would not let kuemper go, I can guarantee that. Maaybe backstrom and a prospect like phillips

      • wayoffpiste - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        I don’t know. As much as I wouldn’t want to see Kuemper go, it wouldn’t shock me. They have been playing Kuemper like crazy lately maybe to get his value up. Plus hasn’t there been rumors of us (Wild) talking with Jose Theodore again? I do agree that if the Wild make a push for Vanek, it would probably have to contain Kuemper.

      • lbeezyse - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        Keumper will not be a part of any package. The Wild know Keumps and Gustuvson are the future in the net. Harding is a wild card with his health & Backstrom’s age has showed the past 2 years. The Wild have been playing Keumper so much because Harding has been out and Back’s hasn’t been up to par until lately. If the Wild made a push it would be Backstrom, a pick (not first), and a prospect like Haula or Zucker. Most likely Zucker as Vanek’s presence would make Zuck’s expendable. Would Garth balk at this package? Most likely, but as the deadline nears he will get antsy to get something for him. If Vanek hit’s FA market I would say MN will be the front runners. Not to buy into “rumors”, but Russo is pretty plugged into the NHL scene and has made it well known that there is interest from both sides.

  7. hockey412 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    So Buffalo wins this round.

    Seeing as how any team that intends to keep Vanek would be nuts to trade anything substantial for him after this, this is actually a good spot for him to be in. He’s a pure rental at this point so he gets to go play for a contender and then surf the market as probably the biggest name UFA out there this July. Not a bad deal for him.

  8. jpelle82 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    so i guess i should reserve judgement until i see some sort of report or details on what was offered but…my gut reaction is to blame vanek just because i dont like him. i dont see why, after giving up such assets the islanders would low ball him but i wouldnt rule that out as a possibility either. he’s helped create one of the most productive lines in hockey and for what? doesnt look good for the isles to make the playoffs so they just flip him for another 1st round pick and maybe a prospect? the pick will probably be a bottom 10 first rounder and no team thats buying vanek as a rental is going to give up an nhl ready goalie which is what the isles really need right now. i still question why they made the trade for vanek in the first place.

  9. macgrubie - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I’m sure Holmgren’s considering how many current flyers and phantoms he could get away with giving for him and still be able to have enough players for a full roster between the two.

  10. storminator16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    I wouldn’t fret, Isles can still get pieces for him. Win-win.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      win-win except for the actual winning games part.

  11. puckmepuckyou - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    How long before some of these guys price themselves right outta the league?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      I don’t think players can price themselves out of the league. First of all there is a max contract a player could sign. Secondly, if a player gets to July 1 and waits around for the offer he wants, teams will move on to Player B, or Player C. Eatting away at that teams given salary cap. Therefore it doesn’t do a player to price himself out of the league.

      Of course, a player could price himself out of a market. I mean, what player wouldn’t turn down a lot more money from a team to play there. Every place has a price. For a player to go to Winnipeg (all due respect your Winnipeg in the middle of a freezer) or Florida (we aren’t that good, yet) it would cost a lot more than (in Vanek’s case) Minnesota, or Rangers, Toronto, or Boston.

  12. bsaures - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    The problem with Vanek is he holds all the cards is this negotiation.

    1. Hes a UFA so if the ddont sign him or trade him they lose him for nothing.
    2. He is the best UFA available this offseason
    3. he is only 30 so he still has 4-5 good years left
    4. Being Austrian he can also realistically threat the go to the KHL route

    Im not sure exactly what he wants $ wise but he will likely get 7+ again because some one will give it to him

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      There is zero chance of him going to the KHL.

      • bsaures - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        And why is tha?t he is eastern european so he would be closer to home and family, is purely motivated by money and not winning, he can make 8+ million TAX FREE in the KHL versus a bit over 7 in the NHL while losing 20-50% to taxes.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        Closer to home and family? Kind of like the wife he married who’s from Minnesota? Kind of like he’s had chances to play in the KHL during not one but two NHL lockouts? Kind of like he’s been in America since before 2000? It’s not like some Russian who come over as an 18 year old to play in the NHL and gets frustrated at various circumstances and bolts back over there. As far as making $7 million tax free in the KHL, he could do that in America as well, as the NHL has at least 3 teams, he could play for and not pay income tax. Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Florida are all locations where you don’t pay income taxes. Two of which have newer owners and are talking about spending big bucks and have the cap room to do it. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t going to sign at any of those 3 locations. He’s going to Minnesota. Hands down.

        In fact one Western Conference executive already said this:
        “He’s the kind of guy who’ll have teams in on him who know they may not sign him long term,” said one Western Conference executive whose team has inquired about Vanek. “He can obviously make a difference.”

  13. mnwildfan15 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Backstrom, brodizak and heater for Vanek

    • purpleguy - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      I suspect this was typed in the sarcasm font. I’m not impressed with Snow in the least, but unfortunately, I don’t think he’s dumb enough to take every player on the Wild scrap heap. Then again, since the Wild will make a play for Vanek this summer, this is likely about all Fletch will be willing to give up.

      • lbeezyse - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        If Snow would make that deal it would solidify his ranking as the #1 worst GM of all time in all major sports. If Fletch could put together a package where the Isles take Backstrom and in return get a better pick and prospect I would do it. Instead of a 3rd and a Phillips like prospect give him a 2nd and Zucker. The Isle’s like collecting goalies right?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      The only player in that deal that has value is Heatley. It’s not like he’s a special player, it’s the fact his $7.5 million deal comes off the books

  14. crazemastercraze - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Flyers will sell the farm to get him, even though their area of need is defense, miss the playoffs and lose him to free agency. It’s way too tempting for Holmgram to pass up!

  15. 7mantel - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    NEWSDAY not even worthy to wrap fish !

  16. hosewater2 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Sather madly trying to figure out how exactly to fit in another overpriced FA who summited his career trajectory last year.

  17. clarke16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    As other’s have clued into, Vanek is intent on taking his show to free agency. It doesn’t matter what team he plays for throughout the rest of the season–he’s going to free agency. Period. As such–it’s foolish for any team interested in him long-term to give up a whole lot for him now because it will do nothing to impact their ability to leverage that into a long-term deal…

    The smart money saves the draft picks, sits out the trade deadline and makes their move in the summer. The Wild are the huge frontrunner right now. Plenty of room to sign Kessel once the cap elevates and Heater’s contract is wiped from the books.

    Koivu is the one I’d look to move at the deadline right now. He’s overpaid–thus a poor value…and that’s not going to change.

    • clarke16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Not Kessel–Vanek. Duh. Mixing up my Minnesota boys…

    • guitarhunterdude - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      We have nobody who’s ready to replace Koivu, and no way to get someone to replace him for the rest of the year. You don’t trade away your number one center when none of your prospects are ready to take that role. Yes, Granlund’s recent hot streak has been nice, and he’s looking like a very good prospect, but he’s not top-line center material yet. He’s got better offensive instincts, but Koivu is better in basically every other facet of the game.

      On that note, the Wild might be seriously good when Koivu gets back. With his history of getting good production out of mediocre linemates, a top six of


      could be pretty dirty, and those two lines that are great complements to each other. Koivu’s line can gain possession and start a good forecheck, and Parise’s line can come in as a pure scoring machine.

      • strictlythedanks - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Ya those lines are great. I like the way koivus line would cycle and play a 2 way game, while the PomRiseLand line has the potential to put up a ton of points.

      • lbeezyse - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        The million $ question is: does Garth Snow pick up Fletchers call after the fleece job of Clutterbuck and a 3rd for Nino?

  18. joeyashwi - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I want him in Minnesota however I don’t trust Fletcher enough to want a trade. If I was NY I would want Granlund, Coyle, Kuemper, and a first round pick for Vanek.
    As a Wild fan I would love to give them Heatley and Backstrom but that just isn’t realistic. If Vanek ever comes to Min it will have to be as a free agent.

    • clarke16 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I trust Fletcher enough to NOT want to trade. It’s stoopid to pay BIG to merely rent. You only do that with players like Pominville–because they’re the type with the loyalty/integrity to give you a chance to recoup your investment in a long-term deal. Vanek sees himself as merely a hired gun…and to the top bidder will come the spoils…

      It’s not like the Wild have any cap room to work with to add Vanek right now anyway without moving Heatley at the same time.

  19. thomasvanek - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM


  20. smarshall3789 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    This was a joke of a trade for the Islanders! I like Vanek he’s great but gave up too much for a rental everyone knows he’s going to Minnesota his wife is from there he has ties to that team!! So that being the case don’t be surprised if they get low ball offers and can’t trade him

  21. rlecchino - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    vanek should never wear the Islanders sweater again. he should be scratched until traded

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Oh no, bit that . Show up to practice and still get paid. Less wear and tear on his body for his next team (Minnesota)

  22. cspsrbums - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Why would you give upErat and Neuvy for the fantasy trade? They have been the Caps better players Dump Holtby, Brouwer Laich and Erakins for him if you want to stretch it the fantasy .

  23. youngs79 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Why would the Wild trade for him when they can just sign him this Summer. He will be a member of the Wild.

  24. rgledz - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    The Wild don’t have to give up ANYTHING, because after the season is over……no matter who he’s playing for, he wants to be in Minnesota. He won a national championship there, his wife is from there and he loves Minnesota. With the money that will be free from Heatley after the season he will be wearing a Wild sweater. Book it.

    • lbeezyse - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Don’t forget he lives here year round.

  25. robnas94 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Colorado or Vancouver are the likeliest spots. Edler or McGinn and a pick from each team would be the potential packages in my opinion

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