Monday, October 28, 2013

N.Y. Islanders: Garth Snow Rocks The Boat


NEW YORK ISLANDERS: GM Garth Snow Pulls Off Bold Move; Sends The Popular Matt Moulson Shuffling Off To Buffalo, In Exchange For Thomas Vanek.

For now, Devils fans, and Rangers fans like myself just have to suck it up.  The Long Islanders are currently the best hockey team in the metropolitan area, and arguably just got better.  Today, the Islanders negotiated an early season trade they feel will significantly improve their scoring.  But GM Garth Brooks is taking an awfully big chance.

Garth Snow traded the very popular and productive Matt Moulson, along with a 2014 1st round pick, and a 2015 2nd round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for 29-year old winger Thomas Vanek.  He'll immediately join John Tavares to form the most formidable forward line in town.  But for how long?  Vanek will be an unrestricted free agent come July.  So, Garth Snow's new problem is how to keep him.

I'm not about to under-value Thomas Vanek.  I think he's a very good player.  He's a proven scorer.  But I'm not so sure he's immensely better than Moulson at this point, to warrant this large a package.

Thomas Vanek is inside his ninth season in the league.  He scored forty goals in a season twice, and topped thirty goals two other times.  He has 254 in his career.  In last year's shortened season, Vanek scored 41 points in 38 games.

Matt Moulson, like Vanek, is 29-years old, and will also become a free agent in July.  In four plus seasons with the Islanders, Moulson topped thirty goals in a season three straight times, undone only by last year's shortened schedule.  Last year he scored 44-points in 47 games, with 15 goals.

All however is NOT well.  Tavares and Moulson were best friends  There is already rampant speculation Vanek wants to play in Minnesota, while Moulson was perfectly content where he was.

The Islanders are currently tied for second place of the new Metropolitan Division with eleven points.  They have as many goals, 35, as their rival Pittsburgh Penguins, and trail only the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs for the most goals scored in the conference.  Garth Snow should perhaps look into shoring up his blue liners, who have allowed the third most goals in the Eastern Conference.  On that note, one of those picks could have been spent on a goalie maybe?

BTW - Matt Moulson has already scored for Buffalo tonight.


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