Sabres pay part of Vanek’s contract, gave Islanders draft pick control in deal

Didn’t Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier kill it with that Thomas Vanek trade with the New York Islanders, getting back a top-six forward in Matt Moulson, and first-rounder and a second-rounder from Garth Snow?

Hey, the Sabres didn’t even have to retain any of his elephantine $6.4 million salary!

Oh, wait …

“As reported on Tuesday by TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Vanek's former team the Sabres will retain approximately $1.4 million - or roughly 20 per cent - of what's left of the $6.4 million he is still owed in the final year of his contract.”

That’s odd. Here was one of the most coveted offensive players available in the NHL, and the Sabres couldn’t find a deal that didn’t involve them paying 20-percent of the freight on Vanek?

Well, at least their draft picks are theirs to use as they please.

Oh, wait …

“Another wrinkle in the Vanek deal: if the 1st round pick NYI sent Buff ends up top 10 in June, Isles have option to defer the pick to 2015. So it's Isles' option to either have Buffalo pick this year or next if it's top 10. A little insurance for Isles” – Pierre LeBrun

Well that is a wrinkle.

So if the Islanders are a top 10 lottery team this year, they can opt to keep their pick and give Buffalo one in 2015, when super-prospect Connor McDavid will go No. 1. Or they can give Buffalo this year’s pick and then if things go all loopy for some reason – John Tavares takes a year off to learn Farsi or something – they’ll have their pick for the McDavid derby.

Bottom line: If the Islanders’ pick is in the Top 10, it’s their call for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Well, that’s a lot of new [poop] that’s come to light on the Vanek trade.

But it’s not all bad for Buffalo. It’s not as if Steve Ott’s their captain now.

Oh, wait …