New York Islanders: Thomas Vanek rejects contract offer

Thomas Vanek, New York Islanders.

Former Sabre Thomas Vanek. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

They wanted him to stick around; to become a mainstay on John Tavares’ wing for years to come with the new and improved New York Islanders, moving to a new barn in Brooklyn. The future was bright, and maybe still is. But things have certainly changed in light of Thomas Vanek’s declination of a contract extension that would’ve seen the Austrian sniper remain with the Islanders for the next several years.

It was reported this morning by Newsday, that New York Islanders GM Garth Snow made a substantial offer to retain Thomas Vanek, and the offer was declined. Where does that leave the Isles, who traded away a potential lottery pick and Matt Moulson to acquire Vanek? It leaves them in a tough spot. They must now move Thomas Vanek before the trade deadline, potentially destroying any chance the franchise has at qualifying for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Although, making the playoffs is a highly unlikely possibility for the Islanders who currently sit 10 points out of a wild card spot with 25 games remaining in the season.

Thomas Vanek has produced offensively for the Islanders, scoring 38 points in 41 games. The winger’s production has not meant much in the “wins” column, though. The Islanders are below .500 with Thomas Vanek in the lineup, raising questions about the team’s initial need to acquire a scoring winger back in October when perhaps a starting goaltender or stud defenceman was more necessary.

Vanek will test free agency this summer and the Islanders probably won’t make the playoffs this season. Therefore, the only course of action left to take is to trade Vanek to the highest bidder before the trade deadline. It would be nice if the highest bidder offers up a high first round draft pick, however, that is unlikely because trade-happy teams on deadline day are usually poised to qualify for the post-season and draft later in the first round.

According to CBS New York via Newsday, the Islanders are now fielding offers for Thomas Vanek:

“Thomas Vanek has rejected a substantial offer from the Islanders and could soon be traded. Snow, the team’s general manager, is now fielding offers for the 30-year-old forward, Newsday reported Monday.”

Quote courtesy of CBS Sports. Read full article here.

The 2013-14 NHL season has gone terribly wrong for the New York Islanders who were hoping to build off last year’s playoff birth. Instead, no playoffs loom on the horizon, and John Tavares may begin next season without Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson on his left wing. There is still time for Garth Snow to discover a solution and improve his roster in time for next season, but his best option – a future with Thomas Vanek – appears to be out of the question.