It’s hockey day on Long Island, time to watch actual games as the Islanders take on the Rangers tonight at the Coliseum (game preview to come). It’s probably a good thing that there is an actual, tangible game tonight so that we can all stop yelling about that trade thing that happened on Sunday night. Here’s a final wrap up on some interesting stories that we missed…
Vanek wasn’t interested in being a part of the Sabres rebuild, no not one bit. (Yahoo)
Vanek said he was shocked when he received the news after 8 p.m. ET Sunday night from Regier. But he wasn’t surprised.
“We traded pretty much every veteran,” said Vanek after his first practice with the Islanders. “The message was clear that they’re going for draft picks. I think our last game we played four teenagers. Good, young players, but young players take time. I enjoyed my time there, but I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
“You train all summer long, practice every day and you want to be on a competitive team that has a chance and right now we struggled there,” Vanek said. “It’s hard to leave when you do struggle. I was one of the leaders, but at the same time the reality it’s business and I’m happy to be an Islander.”
John Tavares’ thoughts on Moulson getting traded, and in defense of his former teammate. (Eyes on Isles)
“You know, I don’t think Matt’s ever gotten the credit he deserves for a lot of the success I’ve had over the years. The things he’s done so well. The little things he’s done to help my game [...] [L]iving together our first year, and door-to-door neighbors our second year [...] the impact he made, him and his family, and how much they helped me off the ice [...] words cannot describe how much he was there for me.
Over at the Score, Dave Lozo has a conspiracy theory on the trade. The Islanders didn’t want to pay both Moulson and Vanek, which is why it was Moulson going and not a prospect (full disclosure; Lozo doesn’t believe Vanek is much of an upgrade). So instead of paying Moulson four or five million, you try to pay Vanek seven because the owner will bite on a $3-4 million payroll increase but not a $7 million one.
Trades are like snowflakes, but generally speaking it requires a first-round pick and a prospect or two to acquire a talented scorer on an expiring contract at the trade deadline.
I’m not sure I buy all of it, but it’s an interesting take, plausible, and worth the read.
Missed this over the weekend; Rick DiPietro has joined the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers (Carolina affiliate) on a tryout contract.
Moulson and Vanek both wear #26. To make things easy on fans with defunct jerseys, the Buffalo Sabres are offering free name plate switches. Your move, Islanders.
And finally, Ken from Medford retires his Moulson shirt: