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Vulgar Opinions: It’s Time We Admit Thomas Vanek Is An Elite NHL Player


I will keep this short and to the point.  Thomas Vanek is an elite player in the NHL.  He hasn’t always been there, but he’s there now, and it hasn’t exactly been recent.  The guy has all the characteristics you could want.  He can score any type of goal (and does – he’s fifth in goals per icetime since the lockout), is capable of playing any position on the power play, is decent in all three zones (albeit not great defensively), and has shown the intangibles we all said he’s lacked for far longer than anyone has given him credit.  Toughness, hustle, drive, leadership.  Thomas Vanek has them.

I can picture the whining now.  Thomas Vanek doesn’t carry the team (actually he is), and doesn’t make the players around him better.  Yes, because Jason Pominville is definitely an 86 point a year guy all on his own and Jochen Hecht’s 26 goal pace is nothing out of the ordinary.  You have to give credit where credit is due…this guy is a force to be reckoned with.



9 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/13/12 9:10 AM

    I’ll tell you Phil the same thing I told Joe. You’ve lost a regular visitor. Attacking the Salvation Army for their supporting traditional marriage should not be part of a Sabres/Bills blog. Others aren’t as willing to speak up as I am, but I am sure you have lost more than this supporter as a result.

    • 01/13/12 12:26 PM

      Since you’re making the rounds Nat, be sure to visit us at the Griswold Post Gazette so you can leave a commeny for us.

  2. 01/13/12 10:25 AM

    Not only was virtually every Blogger there supportive of the question and stance, but there were several members of the LGBT community present as well. I’m not sure what other blogs you read, but odds are you’re reading at least one other (in addition to myself) gay, lesbian, bisexual, or Transgendered author. You might want to expand your worldview a little because we are a lot more common than you think.

    The line of what is and isn’t hockey related is blurry. Is game presentation, are vendors, are affiliated and allied organizations? Well yes and no. Every writer draws their line in a different spot, and I draw mine here. Regardless of your beliefs, the Sabres in their policy of not dealing with exclusionary organizations are bound by their own code of ethics to send the salvation army packing and I expect them to do so.

  3. 01/13/12 10:42 AM

    Hope he doesn’t read DGWU Sports either.

    I, for one, am proud of the work done by Alex and Phil. They’ll have plenty of support from the reasonably thinking corners of the blogosphere.

  4. buzz permalink
    01/13/12 2:27 PM

    i’ll keep reading, but did you have to reveal you’re gay? first, no one cares; second, Nat is not wrong because everyone at that summit (20 people) were in agreement. he is actually right, keep it hockey related…. dude from DGWU you guys are awesome and i will pardon anything i don’t like from you

  5. 01/13/12 3:04 PM

    What a compliment, and apparently a license to wreak all sorts of havoc on this issue. I, however, will resort to deep breaths as I try to find some quiet in the face of this steaming void of reason.

    Guys, I can appreciate that you all want it to be all about hockey. But, pro sports teams are about so very much more, and we all know that, which is why we love them like we do in the first place. Frankly, as a fan, I can’t wait for the day when my Sabres cease their affiliations with organizations who value divisive notions of what it means to be “natural” over Christian notions of charity for the poor. And, yes, even if it pisses Phil off a little bit, I say this as a Christian.

    Being able to stomach what the team does off the ice makes it easier to love them when their on it.

  6. 01/13/12 3:16 PM

    I choose to use the term LGBT for a reason, it has several words that describe a variety of orientations. I suggest you brush up on all of them because you are obviously confused. I am not now, nor have I ever been gay.

    And I don’t need to stay in the closet because someone is uncomfortable, or simple minded, or childish, or whatever it is they are that’s producing a problem.

    To the greater point, the line between hockey and non hockey, but still organizational issues. The Barrister is right in that these things matter. In case you’ve forgotten, the FNC sits in downtown Buffalo. This team and these players are members of our community, and I think its important that we be able to say that with pride, and be able to stand up for what they do off the ice.

  7. 01/13/12 3:27 PM

    The beauty of a fan blog is that the writer can touch on whatever subject that they so choose. If you want only sports writing then perhaps you should look elsewhere for your sports commentary. If a writer chooses to focus on an issue such as the one at hand, then that is certainly within their rights to do so. A sports team supporting issues is much more important than I think you realize.

    I write for The Ruff Writers, and while I cannot speak for my fellow writers there, I will say that I am in full support of any blogger speaking out on any issue that is team related. Regardless of what that issue is, you can simply choose not to read those posts. I do not see the sense in completely writing a blog off simply because they support something that you see as a non issue.

    Does a writer being LGBT really matter? Not really. But that is not to say that a writer choosing to divulge such information does not think that it matters. As a writer that falls under the LGBT heading, I think that specifying where one stands on an issue such as the one at hand is important. It is one thing to be on the outside looking in an condemning an affiliation, but it is another to actually be affected (albeit indirectly) by that affiliation. In other words, it is much easier to sympathize when you are affected.

    Regardless, should these comments not be on one of the posts about the issue instead of a post about Vanek being an elite player?

  8. 01/13/12 3:27 PM

    Keep all comments on this post related to the topic at hand, which is Thomas Vanek being elite in the opinion of the author.

    Any discussion about my question at the blogger summit will be conducted in the comments section of the post I will write about it, hopefully up tonight.

    In closing, I leave you this by Corey Griswold:

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