Snow Shakes Up Isles By Trading Moulson From Team’s ‘Core’

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

For the past half-decade, give or take, of this rebuild GM Garth Snow has focused on drafting and improving the Islanders from within and not via trades. Of course, it was a splashy trade that got the rebuild going, when Snow traded for Ryan Smyth at the deadline in 2007. Most of the trades the team has engaged in have been to acquire draft picks, many of which are now skating in Bridgeport or at the Coliseum. 

By trading Matt Moulson, a five-year Islanders veteran, Snow has made a big trade and sent away one of the “core” Islander players that the team was building around. A big, splashy trade and moving one of the pivotal players in the lineup is a new territory for the rebuild. It’s a big shake up for the team and fanbase, which is, apparently, how Snow intended it.

“I didn’t like the way we’d been playing. We’re better than our record indicates and we need to take the next step,” Snow told Arthur Staple of Newsday. “I can tell you I’m not happy with where we are record-wise. We’re better than this. I wasn’t going to sit by and let games pass.”

The Islanders are off to a 4-3-3 start that has been consistently inconsistent, with big wins over the Penguins and Coyotes, but bad losses to basement teams such as the Flyers and the very Sabres the Islanders just traded with.

With the trade, the Islanders get an elite, playmaking wing to pair with their elite, playmaking center John Tavares. But they paid a fair price in sniper and crease-crasher Matt Moulson and two draft picks. The team will have all season to try and re-sign Vanek or trade him again later on before the trade deadline.

“We had an opportunity to acquire an elite player and given where we we are right now, you go for it,” Snow told TSN’s Bob McKenzie. “If we hadn’t drafted so well, if we didn’t have good prospects, we couldn’t afford to take the risk.”

24 comments
Sheamus P Hunt
Sheamus P Hunt

The wallet is tight until they move. I do not like giving up picks. What if the 1st rounder is another Tavares type. I know...what if....

Rich Green
Rich Green

What makes you so sure he has no desire to stay with the Islanders? You aren't going to find anyone better than Tavares on your line. The big bucks have already come for Vanek (thanks to Edmonton's offer sheet) and he will get more whatever he decides to do. But if he wants production, and to just enjoy playing the game again, the Islanders may just be the spot for him.

Rich Green
Rich Green

The Islanders have made enough high draft picks. The time to win is soon, if not now. Plus, Buffalo's draft record isn't that great. This looks like a good deal for both teams and the Islanders definitely have the better player in Vanek.

John Decker
John Decker

Vanek is unquestionably a top line player and fringe superstar. Moulson is a good guy with good hands in front of the net, but he is not a top line winger. He is our latest Jason Blake who will sign for a boatload in the offseason as a reward for playing top line and PP minutes alongside JT. But just like Jason Blake, he will underperform his contract miserably.

Angry NHL Fans - New York Islanders
Angry NHL Fans - New York Islanders

Given the extremely good chance that Vanek will walk because they won't pay him, I don't know what to think of this move. Moulson wasn't the problem, our defense was.

Chris Timpson
Chris Timpson

Draft picks mean nothing... we'd have an above average system if we took no one the next 2 years in the draft... vanek is a 2 time 40 goal scorer IN HIS PRIME. Moulson is a slow, soft, garbage goal getter. Vanek has proven himself SOLO. Moulson disappears without JT. Amazing trade that shows the organization WILL increase cap and is dont with the "rebuild"

Gino Mattucci
Gino Mattucci

I don't mind trading Moulson but for chrissakes get a d-man or goalie

Paul Willis
Paul Willis

Win now move. Isles moving to that shiny new building soon. If Vanek gels he will sign here.

Ryan Hendriksen
Ryan Hendriksen

We will sign him...i guarantee it...everone bashes snow...but all hes done is make us better...people bitch we never go after high end talent...we got moulson from the scrap heap...and we got one of the deepest talent pools...we dont need more draft picks...we need bonafide top end talent...now we got it...if we go after a goalie we will be scary good in no time..so stop bitching and get behind the team already

Steven Maffei
Steven Maffei

If this team is going to be taken seriously, then it has to sign him

Michael Boyarsky
Michael Boyarsky

Moulson makes about 4 million to Vaneks aprox 6 1/2 million. So true the isles pay a couple of million more this season. My point is that in the end they will save many more millions. Unless they somehow sign Vanek. I'll believe that when I see it. If this were a one for one trade i would agree that it would be worth the risk. But to throw in these draft picks? Too risky.We've been burned before big time. This could set us back for years. Too risky.

Gregory Magnus
Gregory Magnus

You realize the Isles are picking up all of Vanek's remaining contract, and he makes over $4mil MORE than Moulson this season, right? A cost saving move that has the team spending over 80% of a prorated 4mil+ for the rest of the season isn't very cost-saving, is it?

Joe Acquista
Joe Acquista

We don't do anything people complain. We do something people complain.

Chris MacCumber
Chris MacCumber

Well said. Vanek on the PP with JT will be a thing of beauty.

Bill Alefeld
Bill Alefeld

Everyone. Please put your emotions aside. Vanek vs Moulson is a no brainer. The issue here is they have to sign Vanek. If they can this is a win win and the picks they give up will be very low round picks.

Bill Alefeld
Bill Alefeld

The picks should mean nothing. The islanders need to stop stock piling picks. You can't fall in love with draft picks. Vanek is a bona fide superstar.

Michael Boyarsky
Michael Boyarsky

I am totally fed up...it as usual can probably be traced to money. Moulson was due to get big bucks...now hw gets nothing from us AND Vanek due to get big bucks will certainly say no thanks saving more Wang dollars AND no first draft choice bucks to spend. A Garth Snow hat trick!

Wayne Michael
Wayne Michael

The title should read..."Snow screws up the Isles" by trading Moulson.

Mike Sitler
Mike Sitler

The isles r beyond worrying about high picks. I dont mind it. There is plenty of talent in the system. Lets see ehat is next , hopefully a d man. ..

Sheamus P Hunt
Sheamus P Hunt

We gave up 2 draft picks for a guy in his last year who has no desire to stay on the Island unless it is with the rangers. Snow should be fired