Impending unrestricted free agent Thomas Vanek has turned down a significant contract offer from the New York Islanders, his agent confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com, and appears headed to test the market this summer.
"He's strongly leaning toward not making a decision before July 1," agent Steve Bartlett told ESPNNewYork.com when reached by phone Monday morning.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow, who acquired Vanek in a trade with Buffalo earlier this season, apparently made an offer that was comparable to Vanek's current seven-year, $50 million deal.
Bartlett said Vanek "appreciated" the significant offer and has shown nothing but respect for how the Islanders have approached the process. Vanek's camp said it appreciates Snow's patience as Vanek has assessed his options, though both the player and agent acknowledge that Snow may have to make a move prior to the trade deadline.
Vanek would likely be one of the most coveted rentals on the market, although Bartlett said he has not shut the door on the Islanders. Vanek has said previously that he'd consider the Islanders as a free agent when that time comes.
The news that Vanek turned down the Islanders' offer was earlier reported by Newsday.