Thomas Vanek reportedly turned down an offer to stay with the New York Islanders recently, and ESPN is now broadcasting that the player is “strongly leaning” toward testing the free agent market in July. He literally compared the decision to that of a breakup, telling Katie Strang that “it’s like a breakup; it’s not you, it’s me.”
General manager Garth Snow didn’t give up a few moving pieces to bring the top-end sniper to the fold. The cost was high, and it’s now up to the GM to recoup the assets that he has lost. According to Pierre LeBrun on TSN, Snow has a very specific asking price in mind for Vanek:
To get Vanek, the asking price is three assets: any combination of a first-round pick, a young player, and a prospect. Whatever the combination, Islanders GM Garth Snow is trying to get his big haul here because we know how much he gave up to get Vanek at the start of the season.
For a player of Vanek’s caliber, Snow’s requirements don’t seem outlandish at all. We’ve seen players like Doug Murray exchange hands at the deadline for a package of draft picks. What Snow is looking for isn’t out of line with similar deals that have transpired over the last year or two.
For a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins of Los Angeles Kings that badly need scoring depth, Vanek is a player that could put them over the top. They’ll have to ante up to land him, and the Islanders re-signing him is still not totally outside the realm of possibility. At this point though, it seems that his days as the wingman for John Tavares are numbered.
For even more New York Islanders content, check out FanSided’s Islanders-centric blog, Eyes on Isles.