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Report: Sabres willing to retain part of Vanek’s salary in trade

Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 21: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres shoots during warmup before NHL action at the Air Canada Centre January 21, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

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The Buffalo Sabres are willing to eat a chunk of Thomas Vanek’s salary (and cap hit) in order to trade him, according to the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Vanek has one year remaining on his contract, with a salary of $6.4 million and cap hit of $7.14 million. The 29-year-old winger can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Given the cap crunch many teams are facing, dealing Vanek’s entire hit would’ve been a challenge for Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier. The Sabres’ apparent willingness to retain part of Vanek’s salary should make it easier to get something substantial in return for a player who’s scored 488 points in 585 career NHL games.

That’s not to say Vanek will definitely be traded; he said in August he hasn’t asked to be dealt. However, he also said in July that remaining in Buffalo for a rebuild “is not the best-case scenario for me.”