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In no surprise, Vanek says he was ready to move on from Sabres

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek could have been paid handsomely to stay in Buffalo. A source, in fact, says the Sabres were willing to make him the highest-paid player in the NHL.

He'd rather win than take part in a rebuild, which has been his message since last season.

"I enjoyed my time there, but I didn’t want to be a part of that," Vanek told reporters in New York today following his first practice with the Islanders. "We traded pretty much every veteran. The message was clear that they’re going for draft picks. I think our last game we played four teenagers. Good, young players, but young players take time."

Vanek is 29, not old by any stretch but not young, either. He watched Mike Grier inconsolably weep following his last NHL game, and Vanek would like to do what Grier didn't -- win the Stanley Cup.

"“You train all summer long, practice every day, and you want to be on a competitive team that has a chance," Vanek said. "Right now we struggled there. It’s hard to leave when you do struggle. I was one of the leaders, but at the same time the reality is it’s business and I’m happy to be an Islander.”

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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