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Lancaster, NY • United States • 36 Years Old • Male
Larry Quinn made a great point in the press conference when asked whether or not the Sabres considered taking the four 1st round picks as compensation from the Oilers on the Tomas Vanek deal.

“In the 37 year history of the Sabres, there haven’t been 4 players picked in the first round better than Vanek.”

I think that’s pretty accurate. The Sabres have had 41 first round picks and I count three and a half better than Vanek. Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Mike Ramsey and the “half” is Pierre Turgeon… for whom I am on the fence.

1970: Gilbert Perreault (1st overall)
1971: Rick Martin (5th overall)
1972: Jim Schoenfeld (5th overall)
1973: Morris Titanic (12th overall)
1974: Lee Fogolin (11th overall)
1975: Bob Sauve (17th overall)
1976: None
1977: Ric Seiling (14th overall)
1978: Larry Playfair (13th overall)
1979: Mike Ramsey (11th overall)
1980: Steve Patrick (20th overall)
1981: Jiri Dudacek (17th overall)
1982: Phil Housley (6th overall), Paul Cyr (9th overall), & Dave Andreychuk 16th overall)
1983: Tom Barrasso (5th overall), Normand Lacombe (10th overall), & Adam Creighton (11th overall)
1984: Mikael Andersson (18th overall)
1985: Calle Johansson (14th overall)
1986: Shawn Anderson (5th overall)
1987: Pierre Turgeon (1st overall)
1988: Joel Savage (13th overall)
1989: Kevin Haller (14th overall)
1990: Brad May (14th overall)
1991: Philippe Boucher (13th overall)
1992: David Cooper (11th overall)
1993: None
1994: Wayne Primeau (17th overall)
1995: Jay McKee (14th overall) & Martin Biron (16th overall)
1996: Erik Rasmussen (7th overall)
1997: Mika Noronen (21st overall)
1998: Dmitri Kalinin (18th overall)
1999: Barrett Heisten (20th overall)
2000: Artem Kryukov (15th overall)
2001: Jiri Novotny (22nd overall)
2002: Keith Ballard (11th overall) & Daniel Paille (20th overall)
2003: Thomas Vanek (5th overall)
2004: Drew Stafford (13th overall)
2005: Marek Zagrapan (13th overall)
2006: Dennis Persson (24th overall)


HOWEVER, with a # 10 through #20 pick in each of the drafts from 2000-2003, a team could have had...

2003 19th Ryan Getzlaf
2002 13th Alexander Semin
2001 13th Ales Hemsky
2000 21th Anton Volchenkov

I think I’d still take Vanek!
Filed Under:   vanek   sabres   edmonton   buffalo   cleon  
July 10, 2007 9:37 AM ET | Delete
As much as it was a "stop the bleeding" move, I think the price tag ties up the Sabres too much regarding the cap.
July 10, 2007 9:55 AM ET | Delete
We'll see if he's worth it. You have to pay somebody, and I'd rather pay someone we know than a FA that could or could not work out. That 1982 draft class of Housley/Andreychuk was special.
July 10, 2007 9:55 AM ET | Delete
We'll see if he's worth it. You have to pay somebody, and I'd rather pay someone we know than a FA that could or could not work out. That 1982 draft class of Housley/Andreychuk was special.
July 10, 2007 11:29 AM ET | Delete
Considering both will make the Hall of Fame, I am surprised that Phil Housely and Dave Andreychuk didn't make your list.Also, while I think Vanek has the edge on Getzlaf and Hemsky and is clearly better than Volchenkov and Semin, wouldn't you take all four combined over Vanek? I would in a heartbeat.
July 10, 2007 12:00 PM ET | Delete
I don't think you can compare Volchenkov and Vanek.One is a kick-@ss defensive defenseman, the other is a goal-scorer. I would take Volchenkov over him any day (of course, we already have Heatley, so that changes stuff a bit), especially now that Vanek makes more than twice his salary. However, we agree to disagree. Is Vanek going to be better than Tavares or Stamkos? I think not. If I was Regier, and I didn't have to worry about saving face (which I truly think was the cause) I would have taken the picks and hoped for a shot at one of those two. Also I think Andreychuk should have made that list.
July 10, 2007 12:09 PM ET | Delete
4 players > 1 and they would be cheaper for a while. That's what it comes down to for me. Also, you never know how good the draft is going to turn out. To just turn to history like Quinn did is pretty naive. Quinn is still an idiot whether or not he matched it anyways.
July 10, 2007 12:09 PM ET | Delete
4 players > 1 and they would be cheaper for a while. That's what it comes down to for me. Also, you never know how good the draft is going to turn out. To just turn to history like Quinn did is pretty naive. Quinn is still an idiot whether or not he matched it anyways.
July 10, 2007 12:29 PM ET | Delete
Hard to say. In one hand I would take the proven talent but in the other--- 7.1M for a guy with 2 years of experience on a team that everyone did well on and then 4 1st rounders from EDM (they would have been really good picks because even with Vanek EDM is not doing well next year, remeber how they finished last year?...the picks would have been better then BUF has had in most of their history). hmmm...Id go with the picks and admit to rebuilding, funny coming from a philly fan eh. But your not going to win the cup with the team you have now right? So role the dice and go for it.. 8 cheap good young players in the next 4 years (if you dont trade any of your 1st round picks and get some impact players with them) in the cap era could spell C-U-P.
July 10, 2007 2:14 PM ET | Delete
Interesting comments from non-buffalonians... It seem sthat all the fans in Buffalo had no doubt in keeping Vanek.. people outside of buffalo... with perhaps an "objective view" seem to have wanted the 4 picks. Perhaps us buffalo fans are too attached to our own player and have a clouded view?
July 10, 2007 6:06 PM ET | Delete
For Every Jim Schoenfeld there is Normand Lacombe.Great stuff, Cleon.
July 10, 2007 6:53 PM ET | Delete
Is Vanek going to be better than Tavares or Stamkos?YES, OF COURS HE IS, HE IS BETTER THEN ANYBODY THAT HAS NEVER PLAYED A GAME IN THE NHL.
July 11, 2007 2:13 AM ET | Delete
Great post. I thought about the 4 1st round picks but I agree with Darcy, the Sabres can't be a developmental team for the NHL. If the Sabres signed Briere and Drury it would have been sweet to have 4 high picks and perhaps a shot at Tavares. Of course, in due time these high picks, if they panned out, would have been bid on by other teams like Vanek was and the Sabres wouldn't have had the cap space to sign them. It was right to keep Vanek. If we lost him then there would have been race to leave the sabres by Campbell next year and Miller the year after.
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