The hockey hiatus between Matt Moulson and the Buffalo Sabres lasted just under four months. Today, Sabres’ General Manager Tim Murray brought the 30-year old left-wing he dealt to the Minnesota Wild last March back to western New York. The terms were $25 million over five years.
And just for good measure Murray also retrieved Cody McCormick, the grinder he sent to the Wild along with Moulson.
Simply put, this was a fantastic move.
The second Murray dealt Moulson away, he became the top UFA that I believed the Sabres should do all they could to reacquire on July 1st. And the reasons are several.
Moulson, who is from nearby southern Ontario, is a low-key guy who genuinely seemed to enjoy playing in Buffalo regardless of its record. He’s also a 3-time 30 goal scorer who kept right on scoring, even when he was pried away from John Tavares’s line on Long Island and dropped onto the Island of Misfit Toys that was the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres.
Moulson brings his offensive talent back to the Team With No Offense. And while the Sabres may be in the basement now, surely he knows the direction they’re heading for in the next two years or so is up; potentially way up.
And while we’re not on the subject, here’s something you might find interesting.
With the acquisition of Montreal Canadiens’ defensemen Josh Gorges earlier for the pick the Sabres got from the Wild at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline, Buffalo essentially lent Moulson and McCormick to Minnesota for two months, and in return for doing so received Moulson, McCormick, Gorges and right-winger Torrey Mitchell.
That’s not a bad deal for a team that for all intents and purposes was out of playoff contention by Thanksgiving.
Buffalo now seems to be signing players faster than I can write articles on them. But there’s no issue here with that; anything else they do today is gravy.