David Anderson’s post yesterday suggested that Thomas Vanek is the type of high-end trade bait that could land the Sabres a large piece of a future Cup winner.  Along the…

David Anderson’s post yesterday suggested that Thomas Vanek is the type of high-end trade bait that could land the Sabres a large piece of a future Cup winner.  Along the way, he made some debatable points about Vanek’s worth or lack thereof.

I considered writing a follow-up piece to dispute some of Anderson’s points but have chosen instead to turn over the floor to one of our readers.  I give you…  Alexander S. Bauer.

Fact #1 – Comparing players to Briere and Drury is a complete waste of time. Neither of those players has won a cup since leaving the Sabres. Get over it.

Fact #2 – The same goes for about 25 other NHL teams. To place that blame predominantly on Vanek is a bit ridiculous.

Fact #3 – Just because you’re bored because there has been relatively little action lately doesn’t mean anyone is, or should be on the chopping block. Moves for the sake of making moves are bad, which is what every single suggestion to move Vanek has been.

Fact #4 – Vanek has put up more points per minutes than Parise and Ryan and more goals per minutes than all but four players since the lockout.

Fact #5 – Craig Rivet, Mike Grier, and Rob Niedermayer were not ‘used up’ when the Sabres acquired them. All of them gave at least one serviceable season. Rivet put up 2-22-24 the first year he played for the Sabres, the third highest assists total and fourth highest points total of his career. In 09-10, the Sabres were 2nd in the NHL killing penalties, thanks largely to Mike Grier’s 2:38 SHTOI per game, highest on the team. Rob Niedermayer gets a lot of crap but his 19 points were in line with the 16, 16, 21, 22 he put up the four previous seasons. Don’t blame him for your unmet expectations. Oh, and he also had 4 points in the playoffs, the same number as Tyler Ennis and Jason Pominville. It helps if you actually take the time to look at the numbers.

Fact #6 – Thomas Vanek has averaged 63 points a season. Fine. Bobby Ryan has averaged 62. One of these players has been centered by Ryan Getzlaf. One has been centered by Derek Roy, Jochen Hecht, Rob Niedermayer, and Luke Adam.

Fact #7 – It is a wild assumption to say that the Sabres expected Vanek to be the face of the franchise (pretty sure it was Ryan Miller) or that Vanek is guilty of ‘sulking.’

Fact #8 – Vanek has played with torn ligaments in his leg, a broken finger, broken ribs, and internal bleeding. There is leading with the words you say. There is also leading by example.

Fact #9 – For harping on Vanek’s so-called unfulfilled potential, you named several players that haven’t accomplished anything.

Who do you honestly think Vanek, the team’s best goal scorer, can be traded for that improves a team that was notoriously bad at scoring goals last season? What are you going to do when Foligno can’t carry over his hot streak, or Bobby Ryan scores 22 goals because Getzlaf isn’t his center?



  1. I think they are making the same mistake with Vanek that they did with Satan…They are using him incorrectly…Both of them have Wooden Blocks for feet…therefore they will never be the Playmaking Scorer that everyone wants them to be! They would both make perfect setup, or clean up men! Ie. Dave Andrechuk(Spelling)! Get the puck to them around the net and Blammo…its in! Why our coaching staff of paid professionals does not know this is beyond me…but I think that pretty much sums up the problem! Duh!

  2. Thank you for this piece. I am sorry but Vanek has been one of our shining stars even in the bad times. He is also among the top PP producers since the lockout. And he isn’t getting his PP points from the point or the half wall like Kovalchuk, he is in front battling every night, which is more than can be said for a lot of this team. I think Leino would be a better player to get rid of, he is of the connolly, roy, afinogenov, selfish lazy ilk. If he ever ends up with some value he is the one to trade, not Vanek!

  3. A much more thorough defense of Vanek than I made in the comments of the “Trade Vanek” post that preceded this. Well done and thank you for making such a good case. #TheDefenseRestsYourHonor

  4. thank you, Vanek has been a top scorer while in a sabres uniform. He has been plagued with injuries. He is a team player and an active member of the WNY community. Keep him. If he can stay healthy he is an asset to the team and the whole organization. I didnt see great things from Leino or Hodgson when they first became members of this team. These guys keep getting better, give them a chance to prove it.

  5. JohnWaynesGhost – You’re right, Vanek is lost in space and is most effective when parked in front of the net.

    For my money I’d rather have a guy like Bobby Ryan with a much better all around skill set. He’s cheaper too.

  6. I’ve been a hardcore Vanek fan since the day his name was first mentioned in Buffalo. His hands in front of the net on deflections are arguably the best in the league. His discipline and decision-making skills on his dead-accurate slapshot are unbelievable. If Vanek had a Ryan Getzlaf or a Sidney Crosby centering him, a case can be made that he could lead the NHL in goals each season. To the people that always call him “lazy,” he is a hard working player who works even harder on the PK and other situations when he is given more responsibility. Nothing against giving Pommers the “C,” but I think Vanek would perform at a higher level with the alphabet on his sweater. Excellent post, I’d love to see him stay in Buffalo.

  7. David thanks for breaking that down…Well done…You cant argue with facts!
    Now if we can just get off the negative band wagon and get on board with a positive outlook about the team and the leaders that are leading, we might get to the playoffs…No wonder no one wants to come to play in Buffalo…Lets get behind this team and its leaders and see if we can help push them to an awesome season no matter how bad you think they may be…They just may surprise ya!!!

  8. Finally an article by someone who is truly knowledgible.

    I especially liked the final comment, “… or Bobby Ryan scores 22 goals because Getzlaf isn’t his center …”

    I’m tired of reading proposed trades involving Vanek, Stafford, Miller, etc. A good example was on another site where the author was pushing a trade of Stafford, Armia, Sekera and a first round pick for Bobby Ryan. Quick – who has centered Stafford’s line the last 4 years? Ah, well, hmmm, … (Ironically, Stafford has averaged 22 goals during that time.) Without Getzlaf I’m not sure Ryan would have performed any better than Stafford has. So why would that author want to “throw in” Armia, Sekera and a first round pick? There are similar proposed trades involving Vanek. I have a feeling a year or two from now Buffalo’s top line could/should be Vanek, Grigoreno and Armia, one of the league’s best. I certainly wouldn’t be trading Vanek now.

  9. Vanek is lazy? So tired of individuals who have no clue about hockey call out players like Vanek. I have seen Vanek pick more pockets and create more odd man rushes by his hustle than any other player on the team. Count the number of times this season that Vanek created a turnover in the offensive zone specifically when he is the only person in the zone. If you had a play maker with Vanek you would be drooling all over this guy.

    You are crazy to even talk about trading Vanek.

  10. But… but… but… I’m bored, I don’t know anything about hockey aside from what I hear on radio and I like it when someone else tells me what my opinion is. Thinking for myself is so difficult and it actually hurts a bit when I try to do it. Trade Vanek! For a bag of used pucks! Maybe if we throw in a 1st with Vanek we can get a 7th back in return!

    Thank you for a great article. You put numbers behind all the general points I’ve been making for the last couple of years. This is one of those articles where the URL is saved and reposted again and again.

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