EDIT: After reading some comments made, I just want to add that the Sabres are my second favorite team after the Oilers. Most of the reason I became a Sabre fan was because I love Chris Drury as a player, but now I like the rest of the team as well.
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That baby of course is Darcy Regier, GM of the Buffalo Sabres, who is mad that some big kid tried to steal his toy. That toy of course is Thomas Vanek, who the Edmonton Oilers tried to pluck with a 7 year $50 million dollar offer sheet. Very good offer, and a player the Oilers would have loved to have. And also a good choice in my opinion for the Sabres to match, he is going to be a star in this league someday (sooner rather that later).
But having the privilege to match that offer, and lock up one of the leagues most talented young scorers for 7 years is not enough for Regier. This whole process is just unfair. A team other than Buffalo trying to sign a free agent. Thats against the rules, (despite the CBA saying it is not against the rules). Well newsflash Darcy, someone was going to do it, but by all means go grab a tissue. If it wasn't the Oilers, it would have been the Sharks, who missed out on the captain you let float away to NY, or the Habs, who have been searching for a top grade scorer in free agency, or the Coyotes, who are in desperate need of everything. The fact is this was going to happen. So to come out and say that you are now out to get the Oilers, and are going to give one of their next RFA's an offer sheet, simply as payback, is as Kevin Lowe put it; juvenile.
It never had to get to this point, the Sabres had all kinds of time to lock Vanek up, just like they did with Drury and Briere. But instead they chose to NOT negotiate with their best three players, instead choosing to sit around on their thumbs whining about how little money they have to spend. And they topped that sundae off with weak at best offers at the last minute to two of those three and then watching them drift away to conference rivals. All they had to do to avoid this situation with Vanek, (who will probably be a better player than Briere by the time his nice new contract is over) was offer him almost anything reasonable. He's only 23, He's not going to demand something huge. Heck they even could have taken him to arbitration and avoided this for another year. But I guess even that was too difficult.
So in closing, Darcy, hockey is a business. This isn't kindergarten anymore, so ok fine, shed some tears, but get back to work.
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