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Thomas Vanek... What to do?

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Old
05-01-2013, 09:06 AM
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Chainshot
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Thomas Vanek... What to do?

With his comments at the deadline and again on locker cleanout day, it seems Tom is not thrilled with the idea of sticking it out for a long rebuild. Regier's year-end presser comments, in and around the bickering over Pegula's availability for interviews that should've been handled by a phone call to Kevin Snow prior to this even taking place, were all about suffering, suffering and more suffering. Oh, and high draft picks. Since it seems Van wants a short rebuild and Regier is setting us up for something longer, what to do with the team's best offensive threat and established forward?

Are you in the "extend him" camp? If so, how much and can you explain why he stays? Is it all about the money, like in '07? Will there be mysterious "hometown discounts" all of a sudden?

Are you in the "trade hiim" camp? If so, where and for what? Or even... when? Is he someone to hold through to next deadline when a couple of rabid teams looking for the final piece of a Stanley Cup run might be willing to sell their farm, literally and figuratively, for a shot at his scoring prowess? Or do you take what you can this summer prior to the draft, insuring that any and all injuries to the oft-dinged scorer don't jeopardize selling him off to the highest bidder? If you deal him, what is the return -- pure futures, something established, or a mix? Are you in the "more than Pominville" return camp or the "around the Nash return" camp --- and if so, why or why not?

My stab at it....


Talk to him this summer (soon) and let him know what the direction of the team is. I expect to find out he is good to his word and wants no part of a three-year rebuilding process even at the market value for his UFA years of service, let alone a discount. Being stuck without being able to talk extension (either with him one's self or to allow another team that luxury), moving him prior to the draft is probably not going to return as much as it would in season, but the thought of him being injured at the deadline OR moping through a season knowing he's going to be dealt has me moving him after the draft for the best possible return with the option for him and the acquiring team to negotiate the extension after July 1st. The for-sale sign goes up right after finishing the private conversation with him about the direction of the team -- work those phones -- but with teh agreement from the player to allow for an extension conversation before finishing the deal. Making it work will involve having the word out and things in place prior to July 1st, not that there is a lot of quality available as UFA but to make it move quickly.

In terms of return, since he's not available for 2 playoff rounds like Pominville was nor is he signed long-term to an expensive contract but with limited trade-options open like Nash was, I expect a 2014 first, a high-quality prospect/young player and something else as the return. Teams are probably not going to be falling over him if they don't get that they have the option to negotiate the extension. In my fantasy-land, this is something Buffalo works out with Tom prior, thus driving up the possible return.

Pick a team that has the best offer on the table and let them and Vanek's agent have at it. Complete the trade and continue the complete rebuild.

I don't see a scenario where he wants to stay. I don't see a scenario where he's taking less money than he's already making. And I don't see a scenario where he's getting a bigger return than Pominville nor less of a return than Nash.

Have at it.

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05-01-2013, 09:17 AM
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Assuming an extension is not possible, trade him this summer, without question. His value is higher currently than it has been in years, and almost certainly higher than it will be at the midway point of next year, for the reasons you mentioned above. One additional reason is that he won't have Pominville on his wing next year, leading, most likely, to a further decline in production.

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05-01-2013, 09:22 AM
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I hope he wants to stay, and if so I hope he'll resign for a deal around 8 yrs and a 6 mil cap hit.

If he wants out, trade him in the summer. Do not wait for the TDL when he might be hurt and slowing down. Hopefully arrange a deal with a team he'd want to be long-term and let them figure out an extension which will maximize the return. If that plays out I expect a 2014 1st, a 2014 or 2015 2nd or a roster player, and a no-doubt FW prospect (probably a winger, but definitely a player with a higher scoring ceiling than Larsson). That sounds right compared to the Pominville trade.

I think I just echoed the OP.

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05-01-2013, 09:26 AM
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I understand the "permission to negotiate an extension" theory... on paper, but has anything like that happened recently in the NHL?

Vanek doesn't have a NMC/NTC so with a year left, we can move him anywhere. If we introduce the "permission to negotiate", it gives Vanek a practical NMC, because he can decide who he wants to negotiate with... and thus limiting the teams Buffalo will have options with.

The permission to negotiate (limiting teams) effectively offsets that trade value gained from the long term deal being in place. So, it puts you back to square one.... so why make trading him more difficult?

Trade him to whomever offers the best deal before training camp starts

I agree with offering the 2-3 yr extension. Nothing longer. I also assume he'll pass.

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05-01-2013, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sabresfansince1980 View Post
I hope he wants to stay, and if so I hope he'll resign for a deal around 8 yrs and a 6 mil cap hit.
How would you structuring that deal?

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05-01-2013, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sabresfansince1980 View Post
I hope he wants to stay, and if so I hope he'll resign for a deal around 8 yrs and a 6 mil cap hit.
I think that would be a cripplingly stupid deal... Lecavalier-ish....

Vanek is already showing the signs of the wear and tear his body has taken... players like that.... ugh when they hit the wall, the fall is very fast.

The idea of having 6 mil tied into Vanek at ages 34-37 is painful to think about

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05-01-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Sabresfansince1980 View Post
I hope he wants to stay, and if so I hope he'll resign for a deal around 8 yrs and a 6 mil cap hit.

If he wants out, trade him in the summer. Do not wait for the TDL when he might be hurt and slowing down.
If he is to slow down or wear down or continue to be chronically injured why would you want to sign him for 8 years?

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05-01-2013, 09:49 AM
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Yes to moving Vanek in the off season. Get those offers in before the Draft this year. I know FA is the day after the draft but I would imagine there could be some sort of arrangement worked out with either the Sabres telling the team what player to pick and then trading for him the next day or a handshake agreement for Vanek to sign the day after the draft. He is probably one of the few things the Sabres can offer for top picks (TB?). As an added benefit if you move him before the draft this you you get a 2013 pick not a 2014 pick further accelerating the rebuild.

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05-01-2013, 09:54 AM
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I was considering moving him a month into the season when his value was really high and he was the scoring leader. I still think we should move him ASAP and get as big of a return as possible. Preferably a player and a pick/prospect.

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05-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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1. I agree with talking to him at the earliest possible moment. Explain to him the situation. If he does not want to stick around, then work on getting the best possible deal.

2. I do not think he will want to sign with the Sabres at this point. He will want to sign with a potential contender though, so hopefully the Sabres work with him on that.

3. As for his price, that's an interesting question. Are the Sabres willing to eat part of his salary for next year? If so, that will drive the price up a bit. 2014 first, a winger that could contribute on the top 6 now, and a grad A prospect? I want the winger, because if we deal Vanek, I'm not sure where the scoring is coming from.

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05-01-2013, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jame View Post
I understand the "permission to negotiate an extension" theory... on paper, but has anything like that happened recently in the NHL?

Vanek doesn't have a NMC/NTC so with a year left, we can move him anywhere. If we introduce the "permission to negotiate", it gives Vanek a practical NMC, because he can decide who he wants to negotiate with... and thus limiting the teams Buffalo will have options with.

The permission to negotiate (limiting teams) effectively offsets that trade value gained from the long term deal being in place. So, it puts you back to square one.... so why make trading him more difficult?

Trade him to whomever offers the best deal before training camp starts

I agree with offering the 2-3 yr extension. Nothing longer. I also assume he'll pass.

Agree -- thinking of ways to try to maximize value. His lack of NMC/NTC could land him somewhere unexpected but are teams in that boot going to have the best offer in the first place expecting to lose him next year? It's a bit of a catch -- taking the best offer in a vacuum is probably the easiest thing to do and simply gets it over with.

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05-01-2013, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ZZamboni View Post
I was considering moving him a month into the season when his value was really high and he was the scoring leader. I still think we should move him ASAP and get as big of a return as possible. Preferably a player and a pick/prospect.
Why? He's good and still very young. By the time we come out of the rebuild he will be in his prime (28-30). He won't command a big salary

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05-01-2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BowieSabresFan View Post
1. I agree with talking to him at the earliest possible moment. Explain to him the situation. If he does not want to stick around, then work on getting the best possible deal.

2. I do not think he will want to sign with the Sabres at this point. He will want to sign with a potential contender though, so hopefully the Sabres work with him on that.


3. As for his price, that's an interesting question. Are the Sabres willing to eat part of his salary for next year? If so, that will drive the price up a bit. 2014 first, a winger that could contribute on the top 6 now, and a grad A prospect? I want the winger, because if we deal Vanek, I'm not sure where the scoring is coming from.
I think people overrate this stuff. The fortune's of many teams change from year to year. NHL players just don't refuse to sign with anybody not named Pittsburgh, Detroit, or Chicago every year.

They won't have any problem signing Sekera.

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05-01-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Agree -- thinking of ways to try to maximize value. His lack of NMC/NTC could land him somewhere unexpected but are teams in that boot going to have the best offer in the first place expecting to lose him next year? It's a bit of a catch -- taking the best offer in a vacuum is probably the easiest thing to do and simply gets it over with.
Get a bigger boot: offer to retain some of his cap hit. We're not signing any big ticket UFAs this year anyway. We can do the same with Miller.

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05-01-2013, 10:06 AM
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I have a bad feeling this might be another Drury/Briere situation in which Darcy lets them walk for nothing.

Any other GM can see that the Sabres need to unload these guys if they can't get them re-signed so I'm expecting some lowball offers to come our way.

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05-01-2013, 10:15 AM
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How would you structuring that deal?
8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4.

I don't necessarily want to tie up cap hit in his late years, but the CBA will not allow a back-diving deal that gets lower than the above. He may sign for less term, but I tend to doubt it. If he agrees to stay through a re-build, then why would he want to have his deal run out in the first couple years after the re-build is over? The cap will be going up each year so a 6 mil hit doesn't bother me. He gets hurt but doesn't miss too many games, and I just don't think he'll be a cripple at age 36. I'm willing to take the risk of a drop-off in production for at least 4-5 more seasons of elite scoring that he provides. It's not like Buffalo has anyone else like that, and only Armia is projected to be anything close.

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05-01-2013, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyJay View Post
I have a bad feeling this might be another Drury/Briere situation in which Darcy lets them walk for nothing.
Any other GM can see that the Sabres need to unload these guys if they can't get them re-signed so I'm expecting some lowball offers to come our way.
That's not happening. That would be terrible asset management and fly in the face of what Regier has done and said in the last 16 months. And there are always teams looking to improve who aren't willing to wait.

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05-01-2013, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sabresfansince1980 View Post
8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4.

I don't necessarily want to tie up cap hit in his late years, but the CBA will not allow a back-diving deal that gets lower than the above. He may sign for less term, but I tend to doubt it. If he agrees to stay through a re-build, then why would he want to have his deal run out in the first couple years after the re-build is over? The cap will be going up each year so a 6 mil hit doesn't bother me. He gets hurt but doesn't miss too many games, and I just don't think he'll be a cripple at age 36. I'm willing to take the risk of a drop-off in production for at least 4-5 more seasons of elite scoring that he provides. It's not like Buffalo has anyone else like that, and only Armia is projected to be anything close.
I guess I don't see him being willing to stay through a rebuild, so the term doesn't have as much impact. That was why I was wondering at structure - thought the big bonus signing advantages that Pegula Bucks afforded them is now a thing of the past.

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05-01-2013, 10:19 AM
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Why? He's good and still very young. By the time we come out of the rebuild he will be in his prime (28-30). He won't command a big salary
I'm sorry, I was talking about Vanek.

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05-01-2013, 10:22 AM
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RazielMoshman
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I would let him choose. Completely up to him.

My preference, however, is for him to stay. Sign him to a 5-7 year contract, allowing him to retire a Sabre and break loads more records! His the most talented Sabre and a great role model for the younger generation. I think we could desperately use him in the coming years and the idea of a Vanek-less Sabres squad next year scares the piss outta me.

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05-01-2013, 10:30 AM
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I would let him choose. Completely up to him.

My preference, however, is for him to stay. Sign him to a 5-7 year contract, allowing him to retire a Sabre and break loads more records! His the most talented Sabre and a great role model for the younger generation. I think we could desperately use him in the coming years and the idea of a Vanek-less Sabres squad next year scares the piss outta me.
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, what is it that he's showing the next generation of Sabres? And isn't the whole point right now to bottom the hell out to land the highend talent Regier was talking about in the press conference? That's the suffering, right there.

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05-01-2013, 10:59 AM
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Shop him and sell him to the highest bidder for half his salary. He's my favorite sabre but he deserves a chance to compete for a cup. Wild fans have shown an interest in him and at half price they could likely make it happen and make a serious run at a cup. Maybe we could then pry out one of the top end prospects we didn't get in the Pomminville trade. Something like 2014 1st rounder + Dumba/Coyle + conditional pick if he re-signs.

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05-01-2013, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyJay View Post
I have a bad feeling this might be another Drury/Briere situation in which Darcy lets them walk for nothing.

Any other GM can see that the Sabres need to unload these guys if they can't get them re-signed so I'm expecting some lowball offers to come our way.
Really? That's weird... because Regier basically said,"re-sign" or "trade"... we are in a rebuild. Theyve admitted it....

the scenario is nothing like the co caps.


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05-01-2013, 11:21 AM
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I've been of the opinion for a while that they should trade him. He just came off of a very solid season, so his value should be fairly high. 2 more picks in the 1st round of next years draft plus some more prospects can really help with the rebuild. Vanek would probably be 32 or 33 by the time the Sabres would be a playoff team. The guy takes a beating every year. How much would he have left in the tank at that point?

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05-01-2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, what is it that he's showing the next generation of Sabres? And isn't the whole point right now to bottom the hell out to land the highend talent Regier was talking about in the press conference? That's the suffering, right there.
Vanek brings all his got every night and has high standards for his own level of play. His always been pro-team and always tried to learn. Those are things I want him to teach each and every young gun on this team.

I don't see the point as being bottoming out, I see it as building up, with youth. Trying to stay competitive while also playing for the future. We should still try and win every game, but not lose sight of the bigger picture if we lose a few (read: a lot).

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