he offensive-challenged Flyers need to add a sniper.

Badly.

Paging Thomas Vanek. Paging Thomas Vanek.

The Buffalo Sabres winger and the Flyers seem like a perfect match.

The Flyers have scored a total of 10 goals - their lowest seven-game total to begin a season in franchise history - and they are off to an unsightly 1-6 start.

Their general manager's fate may be hanging in the balance. Make a move that triggers a turnaround and Paul Holmgren's job could be secure. Miss the playoffs for the second straight year and . . .

Assistant GM Ron Hextall is waiting in the wings.

Which brings us back to Vanek a 29-year-old right winger who scored 20 goals in 38 games last season and has 253 goals in 593 career games. He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and he has dropped broad hints that he does not want to remain with the Sabres if they have a long rebuilding plan.

And that's exactly what seems to be taking place.

The Sabres like the Flyers are off to an awful start and are having problems scoring.

So why would they deal Vanek?

Because if he's not going to re-sign with them after the season they risk losing him and not getting anything in return.