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Vanek's future in Buffalo clouded by Sabres trades as team starts rebuilding process

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    Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier speaks during an NHL hockey news conference, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Buffalo, N.Y. Regier announced the Sabres have traded captain Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick in 2014 to the Minnesota Wild for prospects Johan Larsson and Matt Hackett plus a first-round draft pick in 2013 and a second-round draft pick in 2014. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, John Hickey) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUTThe Associated Press

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    FILE - In this March 26, 2013, file photo, Buffalo Sabres right wing Jason Pominville skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL Hockey game in Tampa, Fla. A person familiar with trade talks has confirmed the Sabres have agreed to deal their captain to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the trade has not yet been approved by the NHL. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)The Associated Press

Thomas Vanek is unsure about his long-term future with the Buffalo Sabres now that the struggling team is battling through a rebuilding process.

Vanek, Buffalo's leading scorer, has one year remaining on a seven-year, $50 million contract he signed in 2007. And he spoke with caution in the locker room Thursday, one day after the Sabres traded former captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild. In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the Sabres also dealt veteran defensemen Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold.

General manager Darcy Regier said after the Pominville trade that it's difficult to put a timetable on the rebuilding process. And that's puzzling to Vanek.

"I mean, obviously we gave up three good players in the last week and got a lot of picks in return," Vanek said. "Again, we'll see."

Vanek leads the Sabres in scoring with 33 points (16 goals) in 29 games.