Well, here is the first big NHL trade so far during the season. The New York Islanders acquired Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first-round pick this year, and a second-round pick in next year’s draft.
This move wasn’t one of the best by the Islanders and their GM Garth Snow. While Vanek is a two-time 4o-goal scorer, the last time he did that was in 2008-09. Moulson, who is the same age as Vanek, had three straight 30-goal seasons and would have had one last year if it wasn’t for the lockout.
The move is really puzzling as both players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Moulson had become one of the cornerstones of the franchise along with John Tavares. He is one of the most underrated players in the entire NHL. He will be the main piece for the rebuilding process that the Sabres are trying to start now.
But the Islanders are a team that is up and coming. They needed a goalie and a defenseman in order to become a legit contender, not another forward. Most people will see the name Vanek and think that this is a good deal, but it doesn’t look so good when you dig deeper.
Personally, I think the Sabres got away with a steal here. Moulson will probably be a consistent 30-goal scorer until he is in his mid- to late-30. It was not one of the best moves by the Islanders.