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"Inside the Stripes..."
Edmonton, AB • Canada • 22 Years Old • Male
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.

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.
Filed Under:   Sabres   Vanek   Buffalo  
July 9, 2007 11:16 PM ET | Delete
No one said it was against the rules, it was just dirty. Because the Sabres told the Oilers that they would match whatever the Oilers offered Vanek, the Oilers offered him a huge deal that would handicap the Sabres' cap. Thats just low. I lost a lot of respect for the Oiler Organization.
July 9, 2007 11:44 PM ET | Delete
HAHA good read
July 9, 2007 11:48 PM ET | Delete
It's not dirty. Lowe did nothing wrong. Why didn't the Sabres try to re-sign Vanek earlier, instead of letting Lowe set the price for their player? Why didn't they just take the four first rounders and let Lowe keep Vanek, and use the cash to add other players and the picks to add players via trades?
July 10, 2007 12:40 AM ET | Delete
i just hope Lowe has a sense of humor when we offer Stoll and Dubniyak a contract next season, After what he offered i wouldn't sign a contract for another season i'd test the market and it's a great way to get off the sinking ship. If they could offer 50 mil then Stoll should be thinking 30 or 35
July 10, 2007 12:44 AM ET | Delete
and for the record i don't think it's dirty i really think that Regier may have had an offer already worked out with Vanek all he had to do was sign
July 10, 2007 12:45 AM ET | Delete
I don't disagree with most of your points. I do however find it ironic coming from a fan with a GM that just finished crying to the media about how "if I knew then what I know now, I would've resigned Smyth". Basically sat on his thumbs and did nothing and then "topped that sundae off with weak at best offers at the last minute."
July 10, 2007 3:34 AM ET | Delete
and I hope the sabres have a sense of humour if lowe lets stoll go for 35 million. be alot of egg on darcy's face when he screws his salary cap for spite. the bottom line is Lowe made a move to try and help the Oilers, the only club he is responsible to and Darcy should have been more aggressive in looking after his own players instead of chancing that a near 40 goal/80 point scorer might not get an offer sheet.
July 10, 2007 4:45 AM ET | Delete
Darcy won't have the balls to make any offers like that because he wont be reassured that the Oilers will match the offer sheet. The Oilers arent stupid enough to say oh hey by the way... we really really like stoll so whatever you offer him in an offer sheet we are going to match immediately so dont waste your time. I hope the Oilers do say this, Darcy makes the offer, and the oilers take the first round picks and leave the sabres with another overpaid player. Teams wont have the balls to make these giant offers without the reassurance by the players team that they will match any deal. Just a completely boneheaded comment to make.
July 10, 2007 8:05 AM ET | Delete
Honestly, Regier played this entire free agency period really badly. He left himself exposed to an offer sheet. Maybe now he'll know to extend contracts before they run out. In the "new NHL," the GMs that figure that out will perform best. If Vanek and Drury are so special and important, give them extensions during the season.
July 10, 2007 9:00 AM ET | Delete
Why didn't Lowe pull that dick move with the Rangers and get himself a friggin goalie. Oh yeah, you don't want to put your friend behind the eihgt ball. But it's ok to put the Sabres behind it........
July 10, 2007 9:40 AM ET | Delete
According to Darcy, Vanek's agent wouldn't negotiate and wanted to see what the market was going to be like. As much as Darcy f'ed up on Dru and Danny, I don't think this one was his fault.
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