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Poll: Could the Buffalo Sabres Re-Sign Thomas Vanek?


The last big move Darcy Regier made before his firing was sending Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson. Thus far the trade has been working out fairly well for both teams; Moulson has adapted nicely to the Sabres top line and is scoring while Vanek has formed solid chemistry with captain John Tavares and has helped power a 4 game win streak.

The big catch is both players are upcoming free agents once the season expires, and while Moulson has expressed interest in sticking

around with the Sabres, Thomas Vanek has not done the same with the Islanders. There’s been speculation dating back to Vanek’s days with the blue and gold that Vanek would like to test out the free agency markets once his contract is up. Now the Islanders are reportedly willing to throw a truck load of money at Vanek to keep him an Islander, much like the Sabres did to acquire Ville Leino, but there is still no guarantee he stays.

With the potential of Vanek hitting the free agent waters soon, this summer could Buffalo attempt to regain their former star? Imagine how upset the Islanders would be if they lost both Vanek and Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres. As hard as it is to admit it, we’d have to give Darcy Regier a round of applause for setting that up.

Vanek felt like he got a raw deal from the Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier regime. After being passed up for the captaincy he took a lot of flack despite being one of the Sabres best forwards. However, the Sabres have good news for Vanek, there is a new era in Buffalo with new management and coaching willing to operate a hockey team properly. If Vanek were to come back and play for the Sabres, he would surely find the whole atmosphere and philosophy different than before, just look at how different the team has been playing on the ice.

If the Sabres were to buy out the underperforming Ville Leino, reacquiring Thomas Vanek and resigning Ryan Miller would go a long way in helping them reach the rising cap floor next season.

It’s a long stretch for sure, but you think the Buffalo Sabres could, and should take a run at re-aquiring Thomas Vanek this offseason? Move either Moulson or Vanek to their off side, acquire a true first line centre not named Tyler Ennis? Therefore, the Sabres could have one heck of a top line for the rebuild.

Should the Buffalo Sabres Make a Run at Thomas Vanek?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Poll Popular Thomas Vanek

  • Jes

    Really?

    Why not bring Roy and Pominville back to?

    Vanek and the rest of that core had there chance at performing with us but they never got us to the Stanley Cup let alone playoffs all that much.

    Time for a whole new direction. No need to trade any of our young assets for a guy who doesn’t even want to be here. I’d personally rather have Moulson.

    • JHizzle75

      He would be a free agent at the end of this year, so we wouldn’t be trading picks or prospects for him.
      I’ve always wanted to see Vanek and Hemsky on a line together, I think they would compliment each other very well.
      Ship Tallinder to the Oil for Hemsky and take a shot at Vanek in the off season.
      We weren’t the lowest scoring team in the league when we had Vanek…

      • Jes

        I do believe we were. He is going to Minnesota or will stay with Isles. He’d lose it under Nolan.

        • JHizzle75

          Either way, this teams needs a sniper AND we need to reach the cap floor. If not Vanek then who?

          • Jes

            We have a sniper in Moulson. I don’t know if he will resign but per game average is better then Vaneks.

            And that sniper can easily be rectified by McDavid or Eichel.

          • JHizzle75

            McDavid or Eichel don’t solve our cap problem. If we don’t go after a free agent or make a trade someone on this team is due for a massive raise.

          • Jes

            We will just have to overpay for average guys. Just like the good ol days.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            It’s a tricky road because you need both veterans/young prospects and draft picks to build a successful team

          • K O

            Vanek is soft. As you know when playoffs roll around its about the toughest players and teams with extreme will power vanek doesn’t fit that so that’s a waste of time him taking a roster spot during a rebuild. We need players with a different pedigree who don’t take crap from anyone and score or we will never have a chance winning our division let alone go far in the playoffs! He has no intangibles. He would be our highest paid player by far to give us 50-60 points that doesn’t make sense to me. Getting paid like that he should be putting up 75 plus and Be a leader. Why get vanek while we are losing(also why would he want to come back when he clearly stated that he doesn’t want to be a part of the rebuild and constantly lose) when you could give his spot to a young gun who can develop and get ice time to be our next star they can’t do that riding the bench or down in the ahl there is absolutely no upside to bringing him back he would just milk his monster contract that we would have to give him. Vanek whether he scores or not doesn’t play the game the right way!

          • Dano

            The cap floor isnt hard to reach. Find 2 or 3 UFA’s and offer them each a 1 yr 10Million$ contract. Make it a 2way contract at that so your not totally tying up the roster.

            Talk of drafting players that are 2 draft cycles away when theres no definite telling where the Sabres will finish THIS season, heaven forbid next season..

            Zadorov and Risto will more then likely be on the team next year. Whos to say one of them might not light it up pretty good? Take the Sabres out of the bottom 3 for drafting? Maybe McNabb will help out and the Sabres will have a solid Defensive Corps and win a few more games then they are now? Maybe some of those kids that were sent down this year will do well next year, make the team and they win some games..

            If Edmonton continues on its path with Calgary going for a rebuild also, the Islanders needing a few pieces.. Too many variables to count on what position for the 2015 draft, let alone 2014..

            Buffalo might Pass Edmonton in the next 2-3 weeks in the standings. Might even catch Calgary. Nobody knows for sure. Theres still a weighted lottery to deal with after seasonal records have the teams slotted..

          • Jes

            I think Isles and Calgary will be much better next year.

            With Burke probably wanting to a hire a yes man as GM and run the team as a puppet master I see Flames rebuild going real fast. They won’t be afraid to throw money at
            RFA’s and trading some young players for proven NHLer’s.

            NYI seems to have turned the page in there play. I have a feeling they’ll be contending wild card spot by the end of the season.

            Edmonton has a tonne of UFA’s I think this is the season they fix that awful defense.

          • JHizzle75

            That’s why they might want Tallinder. I think they would be willing to part with Hemsky.
            I know I bring up the Oil a lot but they are the team I watch the most besides Buffalo…watching them right now, actually. Lol

          • Jes

            Hmmm they’ll def want more then just a UFA swap for Hemsky. Hemskys got more years left him and Tallinder maybe has one or two at the most.

          • JHizzle75

            They need defence.
            We need offence.
            Maybe we throw a 2nd round pick in there, but I think that’s overpayment . It all depends on whether or not either one would sign past this season or test the market.

          • Jes

            Sure they need defense but Tallinder is no better then the crap they already have. Plus they can easily sign come free agency.

          • JHizzle75

            All the more reason to trade him .
            If we can get something for him, why not? Better than getting nothing for him when he signs with another team in the off season. Just like you’ve been saying regarding Miller. Obviously not the same return, but it would be something…

          • Caitlin Campbell

            If we did get a chance to draft Ekblad, it could make a Myers type expendable and that would open a lot of doors- just a thought

          • JHizzle75

            If we do pass Edmonton it will make life easier for Murray. Edmonton will almost certainly pick Ekblad , leaving Buffalo with their choice of a (hopefully) future top line Center .

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Yeah it would be a lot easier- I know we don’t need D but passing up Ekblad is a tough pill to swallow IMO

          • Caitlin Campbell

            There is no way the Sabres will offer someone 10 mill for 1 season- especially if they’re a 2 way player with the option for the AHL. That’s nuts!
            The 2 biggest needs are a centreman and someone who can score consistently

          • Dano

            Your missing what Im saying ;)

            They can snag ANY player and pay them whatever it takes, just for 1 year, to reach the cap floor. They could even do such with one of their present AHL players if need be.

          • K O

            Never heard of any team ever doing that that ahl player would be very lucky but I guess they could if they wanted. Would be strange though. We had one of the highest payrolls now we’re talking about the cap floor lol

          • Caitlin Campbell

            oh I got you- snag anyone and pay them the $$ got you Dano!

          • Dano

            Yep. My only concern would be Bettman and Company saying Buffalo ‘ Circumvented the Cap-floor ‘.

            It sounds dumb, but I wouldnt put it past him with all the bad decisions his office/people have made this year.

          • K O

            Yes we are gonna have to find a free agent stud which will be hard to do but your suggesting to go get vanek back instead of a new player??? That’s not changing anything if we do that and vanek is gonna command 7 mil or more a year!! He doesn’t have the desire and strength to be a winner especially in a leadership role. We gave him the C right before we traded him (a sabres organizational philosophy) so what we resign him then give it back or he comes back to our team and doesn’t wear a letter that would be very strange. We shoulda got bobby ryan when we had the chance and regier failed to do so he actually snipes goalies and is younger plays with tons of grit. Regier had no idea what he was doing and his core was Roy pominville vanek stafford leino come on this is a punch line for silliest way to build a cup winner all those guys are underachievers and let downs except for pominville who is a great all around player but never a captain. We need an actual bonafide superstar! And no one is trading them away so we are going to have to draft him and wait. All the top teams have at least two superstars if not more buffalo and Tim Murray have a lot of work to do

          • JHizzle75

            The question posed was about Vanek. I didn’t bring his name up out of thin air!

          • Caitlin Campbell

            That’s asuming we land either McDavid or Eichel. In this years draft I think this Sam Bennett kid could be one ot help with the scoring issue

          • K O

            Ryan Callahan?

          • Caitlin Campbell

            I would not be oppossed to going after Callahan TBH lots of a talent and could instantly make out forwards more credible

          • JHizzle75

            He’s the Rangers Captain!
            What kind of team trades their captain…oh wait… never mind.
            Kidding aside, I like the way he plays, always been a fan of his.

          • K O

            It would be hard to get him but he’s a top line winger with leadership who plays the game right. If we want anybody we are going to have to lose the trade value wise to get a top player we want. It would be stupid for them to let him go but as you said its been done before. I’m trying to find guys that we could actually make an offer to that would upgrade our team. The sabres aren’t desirable by any means but he’s from the area and that might be enough. Who else can we legitimately go after??

  • Mike Flynn

    If he’d sign with us in the off season then ya why not but wouldn’t give up anything to get him or his rights

    • Caitlin Campbell

      exactly this would strickly be an offseason signing where the Sabres don’t lose anything

  • jimbobv2

    I don’t think either Vanek or the Sabres want to go there.

    • Jes

      Thank you Jim. The saga was dragged out for quite some time no need to rectify it. Let’s just stick to drafting.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      You’re probably right

  • http://musingmaryann.wordpress.com/ Mary Ann

    Whether they can get him back or not is another story or even if he wants to come back is the question. If they resign Miller first, that would go a long way in convincing him to come back. In all honesty, they shouldn’t have let him go in the first place. I think it was a vindictive move in the first place.

    • Jes

      Hell No To Either!!!!

    • K O

      Why are sabres fans supposedly educated in the game of hockey saying we should keep or get back players we already had and got absolutely nowhere with. I do not understand. Lets get Roy and pommer back to. We can reform the softest least intimidating first line in the nhl! Time for change people!! Wake up wake up!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Re-signing Miller would definitely go a long way in getting Vanek to consider Buffalo again and while it’s highly unlikely it would be huge for the offence

  • K O

    You guys are crazy vanek stinks why would you want him back on the team? He had his chance. Fragile and always injured and hot/cold like a faucet. We are better without him!

    • Jes

      We are definitely better off without him, but to say he is overrated and he stinks is a waaaaaaay over the top. He is and will be for quite some time one of the leagues best snipers in the league.

      • K O

        To buffalo fans he is waay overrated compared to how the rest of the league sees him. Buffalo fans acted like he was crosby or stamkos when he’s not even close. He never had 90 points in a season ever and his stats have gone down year after year even though he’s in his prime. That’s not elite guys. Yes he is talented but for a so called sniper he scores most his goals standing in front of the net. Snipers score by shooting not tip ins. If he is as good as you all say he should be shooting the puck on pace with ovechkin but he didn’t every powerplay he was in front of the net instead of in a shooting position funny way to play as a sniper. He averaged 16 min of ice time his whole sabres career that’s not elite either. He was part of a core that couldn’t get passed the first round now they are all role players on a team with established leadership. Vanek is a good role player but not leader and when we are rebuilding why do we want to bring back an old player instead of a new core to build with. Moulson already does what vanek did for less money so we should get vanek back so they could play the same position while out on the ice together? Vanek should be elite but refuses to be he’s soft and bad defensively usually coasting around waiting on a pass to rush up the I e o my to step over there blue line and make a stupid pass and turn it back over. He’s a big dude I never saw hit or get in a scrum cus he’s soft and not a buffalo type of player. Name off all the actual elite players they have all thrown down at some point and yes that does matter it says a lot about the player. Vanek is an underachiever with declining stats that we would overpay for and never get anywhere with. Keep moulson for a couple mil less he’s the same player yet better IMO battles for pucks plays much better defense. We definitely need another first line wing and center where we find then idk but it shouldn’t be vanek that would be a huge mistake!

        • qwicwted

          I’m not going to say Vanek wasn’t a good player – he was and at times he did carry the Sabres. I surely don’t consider him a Thornton, Towes, Kane, Crosby, Malkin, etc. but at this point he has served the Sabres well and its time for both to move on. I like what Moulson brings – I think he is a worker, has leadership skills and will mentor/teach our youngsters. Vanek had the opportunity and didn’t rise to the occasion.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            I agree it’s time to move on from Vanek both parties are going different ways and while Vanek wont go down for being the best player ever he played a solid role for the Sabres.

          • K O

            He was our best player I’m not saying that he wasn’t but that’s why we don’t go to the playoffs and are regarded as one of the best teams in the league cus vanek is our top player! I’m an ex player and huge fan vanek is very talented but like I said is an underachiever not over and I expected more outta him. He could score but his overall game when he’s not scoring was not good. That’s not what you need during a rebuild with Nolan as the coach showing the young players how to play the game right. But cat if you were rebuilding the sabres you would immediately pay him 8 mil and slap the C on him wouldn’t you?

          • K O

            Amen!

      • K O

        He’s not even a sniper if you actually watch his game. Most nhl players can snipe the goalie if given the chance. If he is one of the best snipers in the league that’s saying he is in the top ten offensive players of the whole league. Haha. Honestly he might make the top 50 list if he’s lucky

    • JHizzle75

      Vanek stinks? Do you even watch hockey or did you just come on here to stir things up? Vanek was hurt often, but not for long periods of time. How many snipers park their ass in front of the net on the power play and get hacked and whacked and cross-checked like Vanek did? You say he was streaky…and he was, but his reputation alone made opposition coaches play their top shut down lines against him, taking pressure off the other lines. He was beneficial even when he was in his slumps.

      • K O

        Yeah I came to stir things up that’s called a debate. I watched every sabres game for vaneks whole career with us and while most sabres fans love this guy like he was crosby or something I do not!

        • Caitlin Campbell

          He was far from a Crosby but he was a solid scorer and that’s what matter when it comes down to it

          • K O

            I disagree what matters is a well rounded complete player not a one dimensional one who goes cold all the time. You need a crosby to even have a chance at a cup and that’s not guaranteed not a vanek you’ll get nowhere. There’s more to being a top player then scoring here or there. Getting vanek back isn’t a step forward its a step back

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Unless you add Vanek and other players then you take a step forward. I’d take a Vanek over a Leino right now

          • K O

            But adding players past thirty who command 8 mil to play a one way game doesn’t help us rebuild. But obviously I would take vanek over leino but he also costs 2 mil more and it will go to 4 mil more when he gets a new contract. He will be making crosby $ but not performing like it

          • K O

            How does being a solid scorer have anything to do with whether he should be on our team as we rebuild. You keep bringing up stats and not addressing how he played the other 59 minutes of the game. Yes we need scorers during our build but it doesn’t have to be vanek. Just cus he was on our team before? It’s obvious you have a crush on him for some reason.

      • K O

        Yes he was a one way player and underachiever therefore he stinks and snipers don’t park themselves in front of the net they shoot. His title of being a sniper is wrong. A sniper who deflects goals for most of his production is not a sniper. If you got a supposed top ten sniper for the last eight years when you run the powerplay you don’t put him in front of the net that’s simple logic. How come you don’t see highlight after highlight of him sniping goalies on the powerplay then like other top actual snipers? why was our powerplay so bad if he was such a great sniper? Stamkos ovechkin malkin crosby etc are the power behind there powerplay. Tip ins and deflections are positional goals involving a bit of luck nothing like seeing the small window and then sniping it consistently. Throw a puck towards vaneks stick so he can essentially tap it and hopefully get lucky that it goes in oh what amazing talent Not. He is a horrible passer and decision maker as well when we need zone time he would come into the zone and try some insane pass only to turn it over instantly. He had more errant passes then ones that connected and how anyone played on his line idk cus he did the most unusual things on ice that I as his teammate would be scratching my head. The game is 60 min not five seconds. He would score a goal and that erased the other 59 plus minutes of awful decision making and overall play?? He came nowhere close to having a 60 min game consistently night in and night out exactly the opposite if what Nolan wants in his players now. Hard working and tough responsible defensively first and playing smart for the whole 60 min game. Therefore vanek stinks and is waay overrated by sabres fans and not someone we should ever get back!!

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Maybe he’s not an elite sniper like Stamkos and Ovechkin but he was a solid sniper and carried a lot of Sabres goals. There were years where Vanek litterally carried the Sabres offence maybe he’s not the greatest sniper to ever play the game but he was a solid player for the Sabres

          • K O

            Solid player does not equal elite or 7-9 million per year especially when he is not a leader

          • K O

            The years you are referring to ( after drury and briere were gone) pominville was putting up the same numbers as vanek and stafford was scoring he never carried the team. Even if he did as you say where did that get us? To the playoffs every year? Nope. We are trying to rebuild a mess into a championship caliber team not one that doesn’t make the playoffs with average soft top line players! Come on now!

          • K O

            Just cus he was a solid scorer but had no leadership or intangibles doesn’t mean we should get him back and pay him 8 mil during a rebuild. That only makes sense if he’s gonna post at least 70 points and is a great leader! There’s plenty of solid scorers in the nhl. If we are rebuilding we want top players on our first line not thomas vanek all he ever cared about was scoring goals not the whole game of hockey or his team so why would we want that during a rebuild? He showed all the young players on our team how not to play the full game of hockey bad example to them

  • K O

    Did you guys actually watch the sabres when we had vanek. He is soooo overrated!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I don’t know if he’s overrated per say- maybe didn’t live up to what you wanted but he’s a top line player and an above average scorer who is going to put up around 50 points every season…

      • K O

        Above average scorer and 50 points a year is not elite! Buffalo fans act like he is elite which he is not therefore making him overrated!

      • K O

        Top line player on average teams not elite teams. You can’t be a top line player on an elite team and only put up 50 points

        • Caitlin Campbell

          He wasn’t elite but he was the Buffalo Sabres best player throughout his tenure and he carried the team at times- doesn’t matter if you think he was elite or not. Bottom line he scored goals and lead this team and that’s not overrated…. look at the Sabres post Vanek

          • K O

            Why get a player back to rebuild with on the top line if he isn’t elite? The sabres play team hockey now instead of giving the puck to vanek all the time so he can promptly turn it over. He is a role playing scorer who has no intangibles. Why would he leave a team with a top 5 center to come back to buffalo? For the money? Is that how you build a team I don’t think so.

  • qwicwted

    Just couldn’t take the vote because it was too limited. My thoughts, if Vanek wanted to come back – I have no problem with Bflo resigning him. Thing is, Vanek is not captain material, too emotional and immature – he had the opportunity to “step up” but didn’t. Yes, he is a top 6 player, but he wears his emotion on his sleeve. Vanek really had it all in Buffalo – made great $ for years, was treated as a superstar and in Buffalo you get a lot of “bang for your buck”. I like the trade Bflo made – Vanek for Moulson who is a hard worker, has a better attitude and has come out and said how much he and his family appreciate Buffalo and its fans. While Nolan has righted the ship, I would like to see more development of our youth. We can’t just rely on “draft picks” to solve our problems, but as Murray said – a Stanley Cup Team needs to be rounded out with Veterans. I think Moulson is exactly the type of player we need.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I wouldn’t give him the C if he did come back- if we still have Ott let Ott keep the C he’s a much better captain IMO. I’m sorry that polls do not include every option you are looking for but each poll can’t have 20 answers to vote- you vote for the answer you believe in or is closest to what you are looking for.

  • Joe

    If buffo got him back and drafted a first line center it would sure help him decelop with moulson and vanek on his wings but he will go to minnesota. My thoughts on the captain thing r. Just bc u r a top forward does not mean u should wear the c. Ruff obviously felt vanek was not a leader and i felt the same way

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Ruff obviously had his reason’s against naming Vanek the captain I just know Vanek was not pleased at all.
      Him and Moulson on a line with a legit centre could be deadly

      • qwicwted

        Well Vanek could have stepped up this season (Ruff was gone), but he didn’t – he didn’t “take a stand” he was wishy washy. So….I guess my thought is…..be careful what you wish for. Vanek had the opportunity to make the Sabres his team, he didn’t. At least Moulson has said he would be interested in staying…….and he’s been in Buffalo how long? This surprises me becuase I don’t think Rolston treated him the best by sending him to the pressbox – so who would have thought?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I think this season it was clear he wanted out of Buffalo and for that reason he probably won’t come back. I think Moulson is more of a team first guy where Vanek was tired of always doing things for the Sabres as part of the old core. The only temptation for Vanek would be a better team for the rebuild IMO

  • Joe

    Also if ur going to go that route the move would be to buyout leino AND stafford and overpay vanek and miller. At least ud be getting something out of ur money

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Right forgot about buying out Stafford- but what about trading him instead of waisting that money?

      • Joe

        Honestly wat r we going to get for a player who is being paid 4 mill a yr and has 4 goals on the season? Maybe 2 bags of pucks?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          lol good point

          • qwicwted

            Stafford has played better since the arrival of Nolan and IMO he is a step up from Ellis, McCormick, Porter, Scott, D’Agostini, Foligano et al. Is he overpaid – yes, but he still has the potential to score goals. One thing I have noticed with Nolan is that certain players are regaining their confidence with him – Stafford being one and D’Agostini being another. Perhaps Leino will also benefit because I believe he does have the potential and skill that we signed him for – and he can be a “playmaker” – he just needs icetime and to stay healthy.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            I’ll give you that, Stafford’s work ethic has certainly improved since the arrival of Nolan but he just isn’t the kind of player the Sabres will win with IMO. The big problem with Leino is that the Sabres signed him to score goals and instead he wants to play make and he doesn’t have anyone to playmake too right now. I mean who passess up a wide open shot in the slot for a pass?

  • davidmuscalo

    When the trade for Matt Moulson for Thomas Vanek was completed, my thoughts at the time were that the Islanders would send Moulson to Buffalo and then when free agency kicked in sign both Vanek and Moulson. Now, it looks like just the opposite could happen. I, for one, would like to see the Sabres sign both Moulson and Vanek. Since Moulson has stated that he would like to stay in Buffalo (he grew up in Southern Ontario) and Vanek has spent nearly all of his NHL career in Buffalo, I can see their signing with the Sabres as a good possibility.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      See I’d love to see the Sabres resign both Moulson and Vanek I wonder if Murray has the skills to do it- I think it could be huge. Resign either Miller or add Callahan and a centre and the Sabres offence is almost set