That sound you here is the air raid siren of Islanders fans everywhere reacting to today's news from Arthur Staple of Newsday. According to a source, winger Thomas Vanek has turned down a "substantial" offer from the Islanders and is being shopped around the league by GM Garth Snow ahead of the March 5th deadline.
Quoth Staple (traverse the paywall for full story):
NHL sources told Newsday that Vanek, acquired from the Sabres on Oct. 27, turned down a substantial contract offer from the Isles and that general manager Garth Snow is fielding offers for the 30-year-old wing.
The offer is believed to be in the same range as Vanek's current seven-year, $50 million deal. That contract expires on June 30.
Steve Bartlett, Vanek's agent, told Newsday on Monday morning that he and Snow have not talked in the past several days. Bartlett said Vanek has not closed the door on the Islanders but added that his client "has no real deadline" to let the team know he intends to go to unrestricted free agency on July 1.
The trade for Vanek back in October was shocking for a few reasons, specifically that it cost the Islanders Matt Moulson, signified the team's push into contender status and, most importantly, didn't involve the team's biggest known weakness at the goaltender position.
An injury to key defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, injuries and inconsistent play among goalies Evgeni Nabokov, Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson, significant scoring droughts within the forwards and just rotten luck prevented the Islanders from gaining the ground they expected to after the trade.
But Vanek has been as advertised and created an often spectacular chemistry with linemates John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The "TIVO" line has been so good, it seemed like Vanek was growing more and more comfortable with the idea of remaining an Islander long term.
Hell, he still might. But today's news is a rug puller. We await more info as it comes in. Happy Monday, everyone!