Well it appears we have gotten to the point where I will write a blog on my 2nd favorite team...the Buffalo Sabres.
Thomas Vanek has been offered a 7 year 50 million dollar offer sheet by the Edmonton Oilers. If I'm Darcy Regier, I take the picks and run. Why? Vanek is a franchise player you might say. Look at it this way. He's going to get Edmonton's picks not the Anaheim pick they got in the Pronger trade. Chances are, Edmonton will not make it to the Western Conference Finals in the next 4 years. Chances are, the picks will be top 15. Chances are those players are going to be 1st line players or top pairing d-men. 4 players in draft picks is too much to pass up if I'm the Edmonton Oilers. I'm of the same opinion for Dustin Penner on the Ducks. If the compensation is 2 first round picks, see ya Dustin. Young players are important, don't get me wrong, but 4 first round picks not only frees up would have been used cap space, but lets you replenish the prospect pool. In the new salary cap era, you have to constantly let younger players go and bring in new younger players to survive. Brian Burke had a great quote about that: he said you can't keep your young stallions forever and you have to part with them in order to get yourself to a place where you can contend for a cup.
However, Vanek is so important in different ways for the Sabres. Obviously he's a 40 goal scorer in his sophomore year, but he brings more than that to the table. He's one of the few Sabres who are willing to play physical and is hard-nosed. That is absolutely essential to the Sabres getting further in the playoffs. BUT despite all of this, the Sabres can draft players who are more physical and hard-nosed. The risk is worth the reward in my opinion and Sabre Nation will hold more riots outside HSBC, but in the end they will be praising Darcy Regier if he makes the right choice, even if it leads to his firing.