|Deutsch: Alex Kotalik&Thomas Vanek beim Spiel Rangers Vs. Sabres (Madison Square Garden) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Arthur Staple, Newsday - Thomas Vanek knows how it looks, turning down a seven-year contract believed to be around $50 million from the Islanders.In reading the news, it doesn't appear that Thomas Vanek is going to sign with the Islanders and it doesn't sound like he's going to be an Islander after the trade deadline either. I would imagine, the Islanders will trade Vanek to a team that needs a rental player for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I would say, don't count on the Wild trading away prospects for Vanek. Maybe the Wild can entice the Islanders to take Dany Heatley? They will wait and sign him after July 1st, if he's still available. Just a hunch.
"I'm sure people will look at it and say, 'Wow, that's crazy by him,' or whatever," Vanek told Newsday Tuesday morning, a day after news broke that he had indeed rejected such a deal and will now almost certainly be traded before the March 5 deadline.
But it's not about the Islanders, he said.
"As I've told [general manager] Garth [Snow] before . . . It's like a breakup: It's not you, it's me. And it really is me wanting to explore this."
Vanek knows that his decision to head to July 1 free agency means the Islanders, a team that has been the punchline to plenty of hockey jokes over the past two decades, will get the short end once again. Big-time player says "no thanks" to struggling team, and so on.
Pierre LeBrun, ESPN.com --- Once news got out Monday via Arthur Staple of Newsday that Vanek had rejected a contract offer from the Islanders -- and Vanek's agent, Stephen Bartlett, confirmed to ESPN.com that his client was very likely going to the July 1 UFA market -- Isles GM Garth Snow's phone began to light up.
The early word around the league is that the cost to snag Vanek would be a three-asset haul, whether those assets are first-round picks or prospects or a player. It could be any combination. And if one of the assets is high-end enough, perhaps a two-asset package could do it.
Reached by ESPN.com Tuesday, all Snow would say is that he valued Vanek's presence on Long Island.
"I hope Thomas Vanek retires an Islander," Snow said. "I still hope to re-sign him."