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K-Lowe makes Vanek a lucrative offer, Sabres match

The Oilers offered restricted free agent Thomas Vanek a 7-year $50 million deal today, but Sabres' GM Darcy Regier has said that he will match that offer. The Austrian Vanek scored 43 goals and 84 points last season, a 36-point increase from his rookie season. It seems kind of insane to offer Vanek so much so early in his career for such a long period of time, but Kevin Lowe has driven the value up on Vanek, rather than an arbitrator doing it. It reeks of the Clarke-Kesler saga of last season. But it is a bit different, as TSN points out:
His offer to Vanek was a legitimate long term deal, made to a player he wanted to have in his organization for years to come. Clarke's offer was for one year, at a grossly inflated $1.9 million to a third line player which the Canucks begrudgingly matched.

The Sabres will use Vanek as one of their building blocks with the losses of Briere and Drury.

"Not unexpectedly he was somewhat stunned," Bartlett said of Vanek's reaction to the Oilers' offer. "This is money beyond his wildest expectations."

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