Thomas Vanek has said he is not planning on leaving the Buffalo Sabres, and is not paying attention to the stories about his future.
The 29-year-old, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Sabres, has been the subject of trade rumours, with only one year remaining on his current contract.
But the left winger is concentrating on the new season with the Sabres, after holding talks with general manager Darcy Regier, who intends to keep both Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller, who also has one year left on his current deal.
When asked by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis if he is set to continue playing for the Sabres next season, he replied: “As of right now, yeah.
“I haven't heard any differently. I'm preparing myself like I'm going back to Buffalo, so that’s what I'm doing."
"We're rebuilding, and I'm hoping we have the right pieces to accomplish something.
“I'm not saying I'm old. I think at 29 I've still got many years left, but at the same time, you like to be on a team where you feel like going into camp you're contending.
"You can't guarantee to win a Cup, but right now in Buffalo we're rebuilding, which is not the best-case scenario for me. But at the same time, there's a lot of good young players and hopefully we pick the right ones."
Vanek’s 20 goals and 41 points last season helped the Sabres to a 12th place finish in the Eastern Conference, and he is determined to help the team improve.
“I've never been a person to narrow my choices down. I play a year at a time,” he said.
“Just like when I picked Minnesota [for college], I went and saw other schools, and in the end this was the best fit for me. And I'm going again, I'm focused for this year, and we'll see what holds next year."
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