The New York Islanders gave up a lot for Thomas Vanek. If you consider the fact that Vanek is a free agent at the end of the year I think this trade favors the Buffalo Sabres more and more. How close the Islanders get to the Stanley Cup this year will depend on where Vanek signs in the future. We have seen this story before. Guys like Vanek go to contenders as soon as possible, but I don’t think the Islanders are close. They are good and they can contend, but can they win a seven-game series against the Boston Bruins or the Detroit Red Wings? On one hand maybe Vanek will love playing with Jonathan Tavares, but on the other hand Tavares is still young enough to where draft picks are just as important. The Islanders were building something. I hope that this wasn’t done with the sole purpose of winning a Stanley Cup this year.
On the Sabres’ side of this trade it was a no brainier. Matt Moulson is a high-caliber player, and the draft picks are essential because they are going nowhere this year. Ryan Miller should be next to go, and hopefully he goes to a contender out west. I don’t see the Sabres doing anything in the next three to five years. I could be wrong, but they look terrible this year. The coach seems lost and they have had two or three suspensions that are helping to label that team as a goon squad.