The Sabres are reporting that they are willing to eat a significant portion of Vanek's salary for the upcoming season in order to work out a deal to trade him.
He only has one more year left on his deal with a cap hit of 7.14 million, so we would have to trade away some significant salary on top of them eating a large portion to keep us under the cap, but I feel like Vanek would be a very solid addition to our top-six for at least this coming season, and potentially longer if we could find a way to lock him up long term.
It's a bit of a risk given that he doesn't have to re-sign here after the year, and I have no idea what Buffalo would want in return, but he has scored 20 (which was last season in only 38 games) or more goals in every one of his NHL seasons (43 in his best year), and it would certainly give us a better shot at the playoffs if we had him in the fold.
What do you think?
Vanek has one year remaining on his contract, with a salary of $6.4 million and cap hit of $7.14 million. The 29-year-old winger can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Given the cap crunch many teams are facing, dealing Vanek’s entire hit would’ve been a challenge for Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier. The Sabres’ apparent willingness to retain part of Vanek’s salary should make it easier to get something substantial in return for a player who’s scored 488 points in 585 career NHL games.
That’s not to say Vanek will definitely be traded; he said in August he hasn’t asked to be dealt. However, he also said in July that remaining in Buffalo for a rebuild "is not the best-case scenario for me."