The Sabres are getting low on talent. They lost Chris Drury and Daniel Briere to the free agent market, and up-and-coming talent Thomas Vanek is a restricted free agent with a big-spending suitor. Edmonton made a ridiculous 7-year, $50 million offer for Vanek, which included four first round draft picks to Buffalo because of Vanek's status as restricted.
As already discussed, the Sabres stupidly matched the offer, and will likely retain Vanek's services. But Sabres' management is not happy about the ordeal, not one bit. Says managing partner Larry Quinn, while stomping his feet and pouting:
"As it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, if there is an opportunity for us to put an offer sheet on a player at any time--as long as we're alive -- we'll be very comfortable in doing that. And they can expect it, if it's in our best interest."
Take that, you meanie heads.
Quinn and the Sabres have apparently taken great offense to Edmonton's completely legal and permitted offer to Vanek, and are probably a little put-out that they now have to pay a relatively unproven young player a crap ton of money for a very long time. But if they really wanted to hit the Oilers below the belt, they would have let Vanek go.
Huh? It's simple: the Sabres are now far less deep in talent than they were last season, and will likely suffer for a couple of years as the seventh or eighth best team in the East. Instead, they could have let Vanek go, gone into a rebuilding period immediately and enjoyed EIGHT first round picks over the next four seasons. There's no better way to rebuild a franchise than to draft high and often. Considering that half those draft picks would be coming from Edmonton, who would have Vanek as their only true star player, those picks would likely be in the top ten each year.
Edmonton would be the loser by far if they sign Vanek to a bloated, way-too-long contract with the additional loss of four draft picks. They'd take a large chunk out of their salary cap, have no young prospects out of what are predicted to be several consecutive strong draft classes in the coming years, and would probably just trade him away for nothing in the end anyway---just like they did with Ryan Smyth.
Instead of whining and crying about it, the Sabres should just let Vanek go and be confident in the fact that a few seasons from now, they'll be far stronger and more talented than the pathetic Oilers and their genius GM Kevin Lowe.