Well Thomas Vanek is back in the news, but it is not at all good news for the New York Islanders. Reports are out that Vanek rejected the last contract offer from the Islanders and is expected to be traded before Friday’s Olympic roster freeze. Vanek was acquired earlier this season for Matt Moulson, a first round pick and a second round pick in this year’s draft. General manager Garth Snow was criticized for this move and rightly so.
Vanek and Moulson are both set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of this season. The Islanders have been trying to sign Vanek since he was acquired, but many people believed he had no interest in staying in New York. In fact a report today stated that Vanek is willing to take less money to go to a team that he actually wants to play for.
Snow really messed up this move. He gave up multiple assets for a player who was an unrestricted free agent that season — not to mention he messed up the great chemistry that Moulson had with the franchise player of the Islanders, John Tavares. Now Snow is going to have to trade Vanek and try to get some value in return. There are several teams interested including the Los Angeles Kings.
The asking price for Vanek is expected to be pretty high. The Islanders will definitely want a first round pick back and a top end prospect or an NHL ready prospect. The problem with that is who is willing to part with so much for a rental player? There are many people who believe that Vanek is a lock to sign with the Minnesota Wild this summer. The Islanders are going to get screwed and not get enough value for him right now.
The Islanders are in a real tough spot right now. They are clearly out of the playoff picture barring a miracle run and once again have to think about the future. The Vanek trade is one of the worst handled situations in recent memory, and all of that falls on the shoulders of Snow.