On Sunday, Oct. 27, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had traded co-captain Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014, and a second-round pick in 2015.
Vanek, 29, was drafted fifth overall by the Sabres in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft and has played 598 games and Sabres uniform in his career since making his debut in 2005. In those 598 career games, Vanek has 254 goals and 243 assists for 497 points. He also accumulated 362 penalty minutes and a plus-29 rating during his time with the Sabres. He also has 15 goals and five assists for 20 points in 36 playoff games with the Sabres, while also tallying 18 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating. In 13 games so far this season, Vanek has four goals and five assists for nine points, and has four penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating.
Moulson, also 29, was drafted 263rd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 NHL draft but never played for them, playing four years at Cornell before joining the Los Angeles King organization in 2006. Moulson spent most of his time in the Kings organization between 2006 and 2009 with their AHL affiliate, the Manchaster Monarchs. In 188 games with the Monarchs, Moulson had 74 goals and 86 assists for 160 points, and had 87 penalty minutes and a plus-34 rating. In only 29 games with the Kings between 2007 and 2009, he had six goals and 4 assists for 10 points, with six penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.
Joining the Islanders in 2009, Matt Moulson has since played 304 games with the team, scoring 118 goals and adding 105 assists for 213 points, with 56 penalty minute and a minus-10 rating. In six playoff games with the Islanders, all last season, he had two goals and an assist for three points, to go along with 10 penalty minutes and a minus-four rating. In 11 games with the Islanders so far this season, Moulson has six goals and three assists for nine points, and has six penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating.
Both Moulson and Vanek are set to become unrestricted free agents after the season next July.
With the trade, Steve Ott becomes the Sabres sole captain, and it leads to speculation that goaltender Ryan Miller could be the next to go.