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Rochester, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
It seems as though the Sabres franchise knew this was coming. Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe needs to bring in a marquee player, and Thomas Vanek was on his hit list. Buffalo GM Darcy Regier said no way, Vanek is staying in town, and we'll match any offer sheet you throw at him.
Well, Lowe tried to call Regier's bluff, but Darcy wasn't bluffing. The 7-year, $50 million pitch to Vanek is a heavy price to pay for a 23 year old hockey player, but Vanek was mentioned in the same sentence this past hockey season as Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin and Parise. You've got to pay to play, so to speak, and Buffalo did just that.
Kevin Lowe made a costly error, however, that is going to spell disaster for the Edmonton Oilers in the near future. Lowe just cost Buffalo $6 million more for this upcoming season, and who knows how much for the next. You can bet the Sabres are ticked off at Lowe and the Oilers for this move, and revenge might be very sweet for the Sabres. Rob Shremp is a naturally skilled goal scorer from Syracuse, NY, somewhat of a local product in Buffalo's market. Once he breaks out in the NHL, he will become a coveted RFA, much like Vanek is today. You can be sure that if Buffalo has the space and the picks available, they'll make a run at him. They sure do have the motivation.
On a side note, unless he shows some unexpected brilliance before the end of the summer, Kevin Lowe will be looking for work after the upcoming season. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if he's fired before the end of 2007-2008.
Until next time...
Filed Under:   Buffalo   Sabres   Edmonton   Oilers   Vanek  
July 6, 2007 3:21 PM ET | Delete
"Vanek was mentioned in the same sentence this past hockey season as Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin and Parise."The only possible sentence that would make sense is something along the lines of "Vanek is nowhere near as good as Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin and Parise."I find it amusing that Buffalo fans are so angry at Edmonton. Either pay the guy or let him go to Edmonton. You could have really stuck it to them by letting him go. That contract would have crippled Edmonton for years and years to come. Vanek is not all that. Very one dimensional and soft to boot. I would have let him go to Edmonton for that amount of money.
July 6, 2007 3:49 PM ET | Delete
Vanek: 43G 41A 84P plus 47 Crosby: 36G 84A 120P plus 10 Ovechkin: 46G 46A 92P -19 Malkin: 33G 52A 85P plus 2 Parise: 31G 31A 62P -3 Now, aside from Crosby (he had an unbelievable year and was in a world of his own), please elaborate as to why Vanek is "nowhere near as good" as the rest of these guys? I'm not sure what your beef with Vanek and/or Buffalo is, but it certainly influenced your comment above. I'd suggest doing a little more research into a topic before commenting, it would help. What do you think is more important to the Buffalo Sabres? Locking down their youthful phenoms? Or sticking it to the Edmonton Oilers? Think about that one. Lastly, one dimensional players don't put up 84 points in 82 games, while ending the season plus 47.
July 6, 2007 4:29 PM ET | Delete
I've got no beef with the Sabres. I was rooting for a Wings-Sabres final and I really like the new uniforms. How was Vanek in the playoffs? Terrible and a liability when the puck was not in the offencive zone. He and Parise were in the same league in college. Parise was better then (and played on a less talented team than Vanek) and is better now. You can't just look at regular season numbers. Vanek needs someone to get him the puck. He doesn't create much on his own. Who is going to be his set up man now with Drury and Briere gone? If you were a GM and you could have your choice of any of those players listed above, are you telling me you pick Vanek over any of those other guys? Nobody else would either. Vanek is a nice complementary player who can score goals, but I wouldn't want to build my franchise around him. He's not of that caliber, not a top tier player, which your team will unfortunately discover in the years ahead.
July 6, 2007 4:30 PM ET | Delete
If the Sabres want to give away some picks for Schremp the Oilers aren't going to mind. The Oilers are deep with Prospects at the Centre position, and his performance last year in the AHL was less than stellar so if Buffalo wants revenge by sending an offer sheet to Schremp by all means do it the Oilers will probably enjoy it.
July 6, 2007 4:47 PM ET | Delete
Briere needed someone to get him the puck too, that's that way with anyone, you don't just magically have the puck without the help of your teamates.Crosby and Ovechkin would be the only ones I pick over Vanek in the list above though.
July 6, 2007 10:24 PM ET | Delete
Gagne-Briere-KnubleHartnell-Carter-LupulKapanen-Richards-UpshallEager-Umberger-PotulnyTimonen-SmithHatcher-CoburnKukkonen-PicardBironNiittymakiHOMER IS THE MAN.
July 7, 2007 2:37 AM ET | Delete
I think it is pretty obvious that during the lockout the issue of RFA's was not carefully analyzed. This is where the players scored big time.
July 7, 2007 5:14 PM ET | Delete
sWuave24- He sure is a top tier player. I've had the pleasure of watching him in his one year as a Rochester American (AHL). He's the real deal. You will see in the years to come, he IS a top echelon hockey player.
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