Vanek played for Graz in the Austrian Hockey League, scoring five goals and 10 assists.
"I had a great month in Graz and want to thank the fans, the players and the officials. It was a blast playing these 11 games," he wrote on his blog. "There’s good, fast hockey played here in Austria. My decision to come to play here was the right one."
He returned to be with his family but also to be in town in case the lockout is resolved – a proposition that looks increasingly bleak after Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday the NHL and its players might benefit from a two-week negotiations break. He said he might return after the Austrian league's break, but not right away, both due to his family and the fact he'd take a tryout spot away from another player.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Gary Bettman, Hockey, NHL, Thomas Vanek