The Buffalo Sabres are tabbed to be big-time sellers as the March 5 NHL trade deadline nears. Once the Sochi Olympics roster freeze is lifted when regular season games resume in a couple weeks, the team can expect to have their phones ringing off the hook. Names like Tyler Myers and the oft-mentioned Ryan Miller are sure to bounce around the rumor mill. However, there’s a slight snag involved with another name on the Buffalo trade list.
Matt Moulson, whom the team acquired from the New York Islanders earlier this season in exchange for Thomas Vanek, is becoming a very popular name as far as trade rumors go. There are reports saying that over a dozen teams have reached out to the Sabres in regards to trading for Moulson’s services. In most circles, it’s a matter of when Buffalo trades the winger, not if.
There’s just one problem; Moulson is currently on the IR. He left a game against the Phoenix Coyotes back on January 30 with an apparent arm injury, and has yet to return to action. He’s not expected to return until after the Olympics are finished, and it’s also been reported that his injury isn’t too severe. Of course, a healthy Moulson will certainly bring more returns than an injured one.
Still, the fact that we’re hearing today that there are many teams still calling Buffalo is a good thing. An expiring contract is deadline gold for a team looking for a trade, and that’s exactly what the Sabres have in Moulson. There might be a slight delay on a deal, as more than a few GMs would like to see if the injured forward can get back to full strength before considering a trade.
If the Sabres are able to deal Moulson for solid returns, consider it a big step forward in their oncoming rebuild. The team received picks along with Moulson when they acquired him for Vanek, so if they can get even more in a follow up deal, it’ll go a long way. Moulson, too, is a player with a high ceiling, so a trade for him should hardly be considered just a cap-saving move. Perhaps Buffalo could even get a few prospects to go along with the draft picks they’ve been stockpiling.
Either way, it sounds like Moulson’s time in Buffalo is winding down. Despite the fact that he’s still nursing an injury, Moulson is still expected to net the Sabres some solid pieces that could possibly speed up their impending rebuild.