NHL trade rumors: Thomas Vanek rejects substantial contract offer from Islanders

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Vanek has rejected a "substantial" contract offer from the New York Islanders, which means the forward will likely be traded prior to March 5.

While the location has changed, the result remains the same. Thomas Vanek will be available in the weeks leading up to the NHL trade deadline, as the forward has rejected a substantial contract offer from the New York Islandersaccording to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Staple cites sources who say the Islanders will move Vanek prior to the March 5 deadline because a new contract couldn't be negotiated. The rejected proposal is believed to be similar to the seven-year, $50 million contract Vanek is currently playing under.

Vanek entered the year as a prime rental option given his pending status as an unrestricted free agent. The Islanders attempted to capitalize on that status by acquiring the scoring forward from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick and 2015 second-round pick at the end of October. New York was coming off a playoff appearance in 2013 and looked to build upon that performance with an extended run in 2014, but a slow start hampered that desire and the club is still clawing out of an early-season hole.

Vanek expressed that his time in New York has been enjoyable, but he has long been viewed as a player interested in testing unrestricted waters. Many have speculated that Vanek would like to play for the Minnesota Wild given several personal ties to the area and team.

Staple reports that Islanders general manager Garth Snow has already begun fielding offers for Vanek. The projected value for Vanek has yet to surface, but one would assume the Islanders will at least look to recoup a first-round draft selection.

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