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Vanek's future in Buffalo clouded by Sabres trades as team starts rebuilding process

Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 3:25 PM / News

The Canadian Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Thomas Vanek is unsure about his long-term future with the Buffalo Sabres now that the struggling team is battling through a rebuilding process.

Vanek, Buffalo's leading scorer, has one year remaining on a seven-year, $50 million contract he signed in 2007. And he spoke with caution in the locker room Thursday, one day after the Sabres traded former captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild. In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Sabres also dealt veteran defencemen Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold.

General manager Darcy Regier said after the Pominville trade that it's difficult to put a timetable on the rebuilding process. And that's puzzling to Vanek.

"I mean, obviously we gave up three good players in the last week and got a lot of picks in return," Vanek said. "Again, we'll see."

Vanek leads the Sabres in scoring with 33 points (16 goals) in 29 games.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery