Thomas Vanek returned to Buffalo with the Montreal Canadiens last week for the first time since being dealt to the New York Islanders. While Vanek had a lot of good things to say about the city and the club, he did open the door into what was happening with the Buffalo Sabres management.
As fans and writers/bloggers, we get shutout from what happens internally in a hockey team, which is why when a player such as Thomas Vanek speaks, we listen.
“Looking back at it and even talking to some of the guys who are not here anymore, it’s unfortunate.” ~ Thomas Vanek (Quotes from John Vogl)
That was Vanek’s response when reminiscing about the old Buffalo Sabres core and the potential the squad had to
accomplish big things. Vanek talked about how a team with so much potential and skill was more often left disappointed having never won a playoff series. While the players didn’t step up, Vanek pointed some of the blame at management.
“We always talked about not getting to the next level, but I thought if you really look back at what happened is that Danny and Chris left at the time, and they told us to step up, which is great. We all wanted that to happen, but we never replaced two good players and in this league you need depth. I think five, six players can only take you so far. I wish we would have went and got two, three, four more good guys. We really could have made some runs.”
While it’s sad to think back to the old Buffalo Sabres core and realize they failed to reach their full potential, Vanek had even more insight into the former Sabres management that is worth reading.
“No one really had an answer. That’s when I kind of made up my mind that July 1 is probably a goal of mine.”
Vanek probed about the future of the Buffalo Sabres and their rebuild when deciding his future and the feeling he got was that “No one really had an answer.” For a professional hockey team to not know the direction they’re going at such a crucial point, is nothing short of embarrassing and makes one wonder why Regier was the GM.
Under the reign of Darcy Regier the Buffalo Sabres were certainly going down the wrong path towards a rebuild that would have gone in circles and lasted years. The Buffalo Sabres were in a position, had they replaced Drury and Briere to be true contenders and Regier let that fall right through his fingers to the point where virtually all of the old core is gone.
While Vanek’s comments didn’t shine the brightest light on the former management of the Buffalo Sabres, it’s important to remember that Darcy Regier is gone and Tim Murray seems to be a man with a plan and the execution to accomplish said plan. Hopefully when Tyler Myers goes and asks Murray about the future of the Sabres in a few season’s he won’t get the same answer Vanek, and I’m sure Ryan Miller received.
What do you make of Thomas Vanek’s comments about his former team?