Vanek plays for the Graz 99ers, in his southern Austrian hometown, near the Croatian border. When he was with the Sabres Vanek was something of a sports hero in Austria, but this is the first time he's actually played over there since he was a teen .
Merchandise sales are soaring and fan frenzy actually crashed the team website the day they signed Vanek. (photo R) where his number 20 is prominently featured as a gateway to merchandise sales on the team's home page.
Various media accounts from the team and other Austrian press outlets say " The Sensation is Perfect," (Di Sensation ist Perfekt) and that "Thomas Vanek and The Graz 99ers are now on everyone's lips" (Thomas Vanek und die.. Graz 99ers nun in aller Munde")
"Vanek in Graz is a special event. We are delighted he has decided to join us,' said Team president KR Mag Jochen Pilkdner-Steinberg. Adds CEO Bernd Vollman. "The last few days and weeks were very intense"
From YouTube... Thomas Vanek's First Goal with the Graz 99ers.
And even with without much German language skills, you can hear that the "Atmosphäre ist absolut" exciting"