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November 6, 2012 | 10:32am ET
Vanek is back in Buffalo

The Buffalo News has reported that Sabres forward Thomas Vanek is returning to North America after completing an 11-game stint playing for his hometown team in Austria.

Vanek, 28, is returning just in time as the NHL and the NHL Players' Association get back to the bargaining table for the first time in more than two weeks in New York City.

In an entry on his website, the winger wrote he's on his way back to Buffalo after collecting five goals and 10 assists for 15 points for the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga team.

"It was a once in a lifetime experience and I will never forget this month," Vanek wrote. "Now it's cross your fingers so we have NHL hockey back soon!"

Although Vanek is hopeful that progress can be made in the current CBA negotiations, he has not ruled out the possibility of returning to play in Europe this winter if the lockout continues.

"There's good, fast hockey played here in Austria," Vanek added. "My decision to come to play here was the right one. I really don't know how things are going to unfold in the next weeks. ... I want to wait how the negotiations between league and PA are going. It seems as if things are going forward a bit."

In 78 games with the Sabres last season, Vanek posted 26 goals and 35 assists for 61 points.

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