Booing Vanek Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

There are certain things that shouldn’t surprise anyone, but still manage to.

You can put the segment of fans booing Thomas Vanek Thursday night into that category.

It started during the pre-game introductions. An audible boo could be heard from some of the 12,888 in attendance. The same thing occurred later when Vanek had control of the puck.

As strange as some people felt about the Vanek trade back in October, it was even stranger to see fans booing the guy for seemingly no reason Thursday.

Just as a reminder: In the 41 games he’s played in an Islander uniform, he’s put in 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points. And the Isles top line of Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo was the hottest in the NHL in December and January.

Fans weren’t booing him then, so why now?

In fact, they were in love with him merely two weeks ago after he called out the officials over his disallowed goal against St. Louis.

But now some people dislike him because he wants to test free agency?

Honestly, who can blame him for wanting to test the open market? He’s been in the NHL for nine seasons and this will be the first, and likely only, time he does so. You can’t blame Vanek for wanting to experience it just once.

“It’s just me being a little selfish, I guess, and wanting to get to July 1 and seeing what’s out there,” he told Newsday on Tuesday. “It has nothing to do with this team and where we are in the standings. I think this team has a tremendous upside. Is it the right move? I don’t know. But it’s something me and my family want to explore one time and see how it goes.”

The quote that has been repeated the most since the story broke was the “it’s not you, it’s me” line he told Newsday.

“As I’ve told [general manager] Garth [Snow] before . . . It’s like a breakup: It’s not you, it’s me. And it really is me wanting to explore this,” he said.

Obviously the cynics and naysayers will say that Vanek’s comments are nothing more than empty words and are just the canned quotes that athletes have become known for. Clearly some of those people were in the stands Thursday night, but it’s hard to point to anything that indicates that Vanek hasn’t been anything but sincere during his time with the Islanders.

Snow made a gamble to trade for Vanek back in October. Did it work out completely? No, but that is not the fault of Thomas Vanek. He did what anyone could have asked for during his time on Long Island.

He played hard, worked well with his teammates and linemates, and helped the Islanders.

Vanek has even said if the Islanders were to send him an offer during free agency “this would be a place I’d consider if it gets to July 1.” Again, some may say those are just words, but who knows.

If Vanek isn’t traded by 3 pm on Friday expect the same foolhardy behavior on Saturday when the Isles play the Colorado Avalanche. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the nature of the beast that is sports fandom.

Of all the uncertainty with the Vanek situation, one thing is certain: Vanek has done nothing to deserve the boos he got on Thursday night.

180 comments
Alex Wren
Alex Wren

I think he should be booed. I feel insulted. He's going to get similar $. Just rejected LI. I honestly don't want to see him suit up for the isles ever again. Bench him till he's dealt. Don't risk injury. Which is why the Olympics is a bit of a risk for the isles. 

phishstyx1
phishstyx1

I don't know why people give a rats ass about Thomas Vanek leaving. Maybe there is a world west of the east river that is more appealing to him . If your  family can afford to live on the North Shore and provide education, culture and athletics/leisure it's unmatched on the east coast IMO. Minnesota is his home a hockey hotbed and by all accounts a great place to live except the brutal winters. He has three boys and maybe wants to involve them in youth hockey, I don't know. Maybe he doesn't  wanting to deal with all the negatives that the Islanders/NYC area brings. congestion, second fiddle to the rangers, whacked out owner.ETC ETC


This is a blessing in disguise. He's NOT worth 7M a year. you want his lazy ass in 4 years taking shifts off at Barclays? He does it now.


Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Jonathan Benish
Jonathan Benish

how about the smart ones who bought a Vanek jersey haha my brother got a moulson one for 50 bucks.. Any chance MM is coming back?  Maybe I should invest in MM jersey and sell them if he comes back???

mitchfritz
mitchfritz

the guy who wrote this article has to be kidding ....your looking for sense ?? this is the islanders..they hired their back up goalie as gm ..you want sense??? give isles fans a break they don't know what they should do anymore..some choose to boo.well theres plenty to boo here ..they still spend  their money to see this fiasco  they can boo all they want...

theguru
theguru

this team is reeling. snow has engineered an absolute collapse of this franchise. and the worse part of it is that they don't have their top two draft picks next year. a year where they have a good chance of being the worse team in the league.

Danny Lofaro
Danny Lofaro

Is that goalie Koskinen ever gonna come here to play his stats look good. I know he played a few games two seasons ago but I'd like to see him next season


Danny Lofaro
Danny Lofaro

The hardest thing to swallow this year was back to back losses to the rangers. After that I felt sick

Danny Lofaro
Danny Lofaro

Supposedly the Kings are looking for a scoring left wing and another extra forward and a top four defense man. Hello Vanek, Bailey and AMAC for goalie Jones and a prosect or/and draft pick. Make it happen. Then I guess bring up Strome and Lee or one and dress Boulton.

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

There appears to be a fair number of whiners on this blog...start drinking the kool-aid and you'll find that things aren't really as bad as they appear. Stop your miserable whining!

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

Rooting for the Islanders doesn't make sense, but here we all are....

rmreturns
rmreturns

Boo him, don't boo him. It appears he is leaving town.

Get some stuff back Garth. Letang had a stroke?

jimmydev
jimmydev

If they were a progressive organization they would trade him for at least what they gave up in picks and sign him come July 1, Yeah Right-pretty sad!

theguru
theguru

the vanek trade won't happen. to those that think there is a bounty waiting for this guy are delusional. just because snow job paid the farm for this rental whose skills have greatly diminished doesn't mean there are a boatload of other garth snow type GMs that are going to pay so foolishly for such a player. in order for snow job to pull the trigger he will have to accept a pittance compared to what he gave up. and snow job won't do that because it will make him look bad to those low information fans that actually think he is doing a good job of rebuilding the team when in fact he is decimating it

mrcisback
mrcisback

            I was out the entire day. I guess Vanek wasn't traded yet. Can anyone bring me up to speed on any trades, rumors involving Vanek,Amac or any other Islander. I would really appreciate it. Is Snow still with the Islanders.

dkdk
dkdk

Maybe the booing doesn't make sense, but neither did the trade. So we have come full circle.

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

it may not be  right to boo vanek, but it certainly isn't outrageous either.  he put up numbers in a stretch of the season when the islanders pretty much were done already.  before that, there wasn't much production while they endured that killer losing streak.  and as soon as the islanders looked like they might latch on to the playoff race again, he cooled off.  coincidence?  maybe.  but i never got the feeling he bought into the islanders 100%.  and he's getting paid good money this year too.  so yeah, i think it's legit to boo him.  to me, this season could have worked out better for the islanders if vanek had stepped into a leadership role.  right now, his situation guarantees the islanders are only playing out the string.  and i have a feeling his presence in the locker room is pretty awkward.  his statements have been pretty dumb too, imo. 'it's like a break-up... it's not you, it's me...'  just spare me, tomas, and bye-bye.

thebagman
thebagman

The fans booing are the same guys who send 100 texts to their ex after she breaks up with them, alternately calling her names and begging her to take him back.  

towlie22
towlie22

I root for the Islanders. They offered him a market value contract, he said no despite the fact that he will get to play with John Taveras. He's saying I really don't like living in this area I'd prefer to live elsewhere. So despite the fact that you guys gave up so much to get me I'm not going to resign with you. His decision hurts the Islanders plans going forward and is somewhat of an insult to those who enjoy living in this area. Why shouldn't we boo him? Because he has the right to be wined and dined in free agency, boo hoo.

steviel
steviel

Sorry I don't understand the sympathy! The guy hurt's "our" team by leaving! period! His decision, nodody else". Adios Vanek! sorry if i don't applaud your decision!  Just wait till he comes back in another uniform!

Brian Goddard
Brian Goddard

You shouldn't boo HOWEVER Vanek is not gonna sign here in July. Why the hell would he sign with this "Bleep Fest" of an organization, and I am a diehard Isles fan.

Danny Lofaro
Danny Lofaro

Just a thought but Vanek and Bailey maybe Amac to LA for the goalie Jones and a prospect and draft picks? 

jepliberty
jepliberty

Those Boos coming from morons in their seats is a disgrace, they Boo Vanek but still continue to put money in Wang's pockets, who is so much more deserving of the disgust, and disdain, including his waterboy Snow. When the trade was made I had no preference either way, but all those booing in their seats would do exactly as he is doing, I do not blame him one bit, why should he feel obligated to stay with this team, would they seeing how the entire organization is, and has been run? 

csd21
csd21

During last night's telecast, didn’t Howie state that he was surprised that the fans were not directing any emotions (good or bad) towards TV?

snostorm
snostorm

I like Vanek and think its silly to boo him. If he signed that would have been great however I think investing that kind of money in him for this team might have been a mistake. Regardless I dont blame him one iota for wanting to test FA.  This team is poorly run and will move to Brooklyn which is a joke.He deserves the right as a veteran to test the market, he has a family, he wants a shot at the cup.  That aint happening here under this ownership.  If Islander fans want to boo someone its the management that should be booed.

Monica Tillner-Hoppe
Monica Tillner-Hoppe

@phishstyx1 he is involved with hockey in amherst new york where his family still is but he just watches as any normal parent. if he comes to the wild, so be it ;0) we will be happy to have him since pom is there too. just tell the sabres to give all the mates to the wild.

since72
since72

Not gonna happen next season as he is signed in the KHL for another year.

mitchfritz
mitchfritz

@Lyle Odelein

there also appears to be a small number of sadomasichists who like punishment year after year hanging around here... like a Canadian trucker named "sea bass" stands around truck stop mens room stalls  ready to assume the positon   ....take a wide stance lyle....

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

Scary about Letang. Crazy, crazy stuff. Not career or life threatening apparently, but that's a big dose of perspective - enjoy every minute above ground...

jpizzy
jpizzy

@jimmydev  No way in a million years is Vanek signing here. Isles won't offer the most money and let's face it, almost the entire league is closer to winning the cup. 

Brian Serviss
Brian Serviss

@theguru  lol skills have greatly diminished? You obviously haven't been watching him play at all this season.  

jimmydev
jimmydev

@theguru  Everyody talks about the great 2008 draft, who did we get that is productive out of that draft? Hamonic? at best a second pair defense men. Everybody hates Poulin although I like him, nobody else came out of that draft. That was the draft that was supposed to make us competitive again. That was 6 years ago and it hasn't worked out, how can we trust Snow now to acquire better players? We can't , Snow needs help, he is incapable of making the tough decisions that make teams into champions

Brian Serviss
Brian Serviss

@dkdk  The only reason the trade doesn't make sense is because Vanek isn't staying on the Island. If he re signed you all would be calling him a genius 

jpizzy
jpizzy

@Danny Lofaro  Nobody is taking Bailley for anything with several years left on his contract. 

Danny Lofaro
Danny Lofaro

@jepliberty  Wang is the cancer to the Islanders. If this team was run like Detroit, Colorado, New Jersey, etc I'd like to think Vanek may have took the contract. 

theguru
theguru

@jimmydev @theguru  he needs help? no he needs to be replaced by someone that has a clue. he has been here 8 years and this team is worse off than when he started. this team has no top draft picks next year. he tenure is featured by acquiring two rental players and an aging defensman and giving up four number 1 draft picks and two seconds for them.what would have happened if bow tie torrey had traded away his top picks for that. there would have been no bossy.gillies,trottier, or potvin and no banners. this loser snow is striving for mediocracy and is coming up way short. there is no hope with this loser in charge only continuous ineptitude.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@shlo @mrcisback

Not true, Snow traded his Honus Wagner BB card for a Kent Hrbek, the other trader was a NHL GM also, Snow has a reputation,

jepliberty
jepliberty

@Danny Lofaro @jepliberty

Danny, You're right about him signing with those teams mentioned in your post, however I read of fans ranting about Vanek's lack of intensity, and skates like he is disinterested like he longs to be somewhere else, and for that I say BOO the hell out of him, as I would also, however he is not interested in staying, and I personally do not blame him for that he is testing the waters and most would, some who do boo him for leaving, should put that proverbial shoe on their own foot, that's all I'm  saying, and yes, WANG is the Chief culprit, he holds all the purse strings and is a control freak, having said that Snow totally effed the offseason last year by not addressing the teams main needs,  a goalie, and the porous DCorp  he did zilch, nada, nothing about it, but perhaps thought paying for the 'scraps' he signed would placate us fans, which IMO at least for myself did not work, so he is a failure also.