BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres controls the puck near the side boards against the Carolina Hurricanes during their NHL game on November 28, 2009 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The Sabres defeated the Hurricanes 5-1. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
There’s a Bruins killer in Buffalo and he may be on the loose this week.
Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek has one more (pricey) year remaining on his contract after this season — his final of a seven-year, $50 million contract — and Buffalo may be looking to part ways, according to The Buffalo News.
Vanek makes $6.4 million this year but his cap hit is over $7 million per year, meaning he won’t be easy to move.
The 29-year-old Austrian doesn’t want to leave Buffalo, but general manager Darcy Regier has said that he’s open to discuss offers on anyone and everyone on the team and Vanek is realizing he could be on the way out.
“I would definitely like to stay,” Vanek told BuffaloNews.com. “I like this area. I’m comfortable where I’m at, but I would like to know what the direction is. The next four days I can’t control, then after that we’ll see what Darcy and [owner] Terry [Pegula] and them have to say.”
The lifetime Sabre has 54 points (28 goals, 26 assists) in 48 career games against the Bruins. In 576 career games, he has 246 goals and 234 assists.
“I think every year you think about that, but obviously this year probably more than any other year because of the position we’re in and one year left on my contract,” Vanek said. “Obviously, you think about it, but at the same time it’s part of the business. If it happens, it happens, and we’ll move on.
“I haven’t talked to anyone about what their plan is. Again, it’s something you can’t control,” he added. If it happens, you move on and you help whatever team you move on to. If you stay here, I’ll do the same things I’ve been doing for the last eight years.”