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NHL rumors: Thomas Vanek hasn't asked Sabres for a trade

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Vanek is entering the final season of his deal and has been rumored to be on the block. (USATSI)
Vanek is entering the final season of his deal and has been rumored to be on the block. (USATSI)

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Buyout Tracker | Trades | Transactions

Will Thomas Vanek be a member of the Buffalo Sabres for a while longer or won't he? Inquiring minds want to know.

Since it became clear that the Sabres were finally going to cut bait on some of their more established players and go the rebuilding route -- made clear when Jason Pominville was traded to Minnesota last season -- people have wondered about his future in Buffalo (Ryan Miller's too).

In the past Vanek had made it clear that he wasn't keen on going through a rebuilding phase. But did he ask for a trade out of Buffalo the way that some suggested? He addressed that with Paul Hamilton of WGR 550 in Buffalo.

"No, I never asked to be traded so when people do mention it, I'm surprised. Did I think I was going to get traded, no because I never once went in there and said I don't want to be here. I said, 'Right now I'm not looking for an extension, but not saying that I wouldn't want one down the road, but right now I just want to see where it goes'." Vanek added, "We're a young team, we're rebuilding and those are my words, so I'm keeping my options open.

"I do believe that the guys that they drafted this year and in the past are good players, but with young guys you never know. I would like to see where we're at and I have that option so, I'm taking it."

So let me get this straight, Vanek doesn't love the idea of a rebuild but he's willing to go test it out and Vanek isn't open to a contract extension at this point (he's entering the final season of his deal) but might be down the road.

Honestly, it's nice to see him coming into everything with an open mind and it's good to clear up any trade demand speculation. He didn't ask for one. That doesn't mean one won't come but if it does it won't be at Vanek's asking.

If Vanek is available there should be loads of interest and GM Darcy Regier could get a handsome return like the one he got for Pominville. This past season Vanek had 20 goals and 21 assists in just 38 games for a Buffalo team that didn't have much going for it.

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