For those in the organization, it was the suddenness of it happening that affected them most.
"This was a situation I think everyone knew was going to take place, it's just the timing of it was a bit quicker than people would've thought," Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. "Obviously losing a player that has meant so much to the organization over the years is tough. He's put a lot of his career, his sacrifices, dedication to the Buffalo Sabres."
Vanek spent the first eight seasons of his career in Buffalo before being dealt Monday night.
"It's completely shocking in the essence of a guy that's been around for a long time here and he's been very successful in Buffalo," Sabres captain Steve Ott said. "In the same instance, it's part of the business. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. There's been rumblings and rumors of what's gone on here. I mean, we got back a heck of a player."