Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vanek Traded to Islanders for Moulson, Picks

The Buffalo Sabres have traded Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson, a first round draft pick in 2014 and a second round pick in 2015 according to TSN.

The 29 year-old winger and former fifth overall pick of the Sabres, Vanek has not scored less than 20 goals in any NHL season, including last season, shortened by the lockout.  The Austrian All-Star had made it clear that he was not ready to partake in a rebuilding effort.  In the New York Islanders, Vanek will find a team that made the playoffs last season, and is on the rise with young sniper John Tavares.

The Buffalo Sabres meanwhile, receive not only two early draft picks for the next two years, but also a goal-producing winger in Matt Moulson, who has not scored less than 30 goals in each of his three full 82-game NHL seasons (he notched 15 in last season's lockout-shortened campaign).

A move by the Sabres was expected for Thomas Vanek this season.  It wasn't clear where he would go, but most thought that he would go.  With Buffalo's very slow start, his move was hastened.

The Islanders meanwhile, get a top-notch goal-scorer through the end of this season, at a cap hit of $7.142 million, after which Vanek's current contract expires.  He could very well help push the Islanders far into the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season though, and wind up signing an extension with New York.

Moulson also could wind up being a rental for the Buffalo Sabres as his contract expires at the end of the current season.  His cap hit is much more manageable however, at $3.13 million.

Vanek and Moulson both wear 26 ironically, so they will be switching uniforms, including numbers.  

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