What Does Matt Moulson Mean To The New York Islanders?

The New York Islanders have already shipped off Dwayne Roloson and James Wisniewski for picks and prospects (in separate deals, as most of you know), leaving Matt Moulson as probably the most valued impending UFA on the current line-up.

Moulson has 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points in 44 games played, putting him fourth on the team in points and second on the team in goals behind his long-time buddy, John Tavares. He is close to being on pace for another 30-goal/50-point season after finishing last year with 30 goals and 18 assists for 48 points.

He is only 27 years old and in his second full season with the team, becoming one of the great success stories of the league as a player that never had it easy when trying to crack an NHL line-up. But now here he is, in his prime as a scoring leader facing 29 potential other teams this summer that would probably love to get their hands on him; a player that goes hard to the net, scores timely goals and competes every night.

And don't be fooled, the Islanders know they have a solid forward that has value. But is he more valuable as a member of the team? Or as a trade asset?

It's important to keep in mind that Moulson and John Tavares, the team's current center piece for the future, are long time friends. Tavares had this to say about Moulson when I interviewed him about a year ago:

"We’ve known each other for about maybe seven or maybe even eight years. I played lacrosse with his younger brother and then we started training together and we’ve been skating together in the summers. I remember when I was about 13 or 14 starting to work out with him. I always appreciated and was amazed at how hard he worked and how he took nothing for granted. It’s kind of funny how things have worked out now, here together. We’ve really enjoyed it together."

TSN's Bob McKenzie recently tweeted that the Islanders and Moulson had spoken, but other rumors have surfaced that a trade may be in place in the near future.

Moulson is a member of the team's core; he's close to John Tavares; he's a leader, hard worker and has good hands in front of the net; he's also one of the big fan favorites on the Island.

In a dismal season of displeasure that started with many injuries and a horrible losing streak, signing Matt Moulson to a new long term deal would be something for Islanders fans to celebrate. But trading him, depending on what the Isles got in return, could be something to consider as well.

But would a trade dismiss the rebuild that Snow has stood by for the past two and a half years? He isn't exactly as young as the rest of the players on the team, but he would take away a player that the team looks up to and competes well with every night.

It's your call: should the Islanders trade Matt Moulson? Or should the Islanders do everything they can to have the feel-good story continue to write out a few more chapters here over the next few years?

-Rob McGowan

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http://twitter.com/IslesRM

12 Comments

George Prax's picture

Hard to say... you don't find gems like him every day but if you can get good value for him, maybe more than he's worth in the long run, why not keep him? But he's young, and he still valuable for the team going forward, so I would say keep him. You're not going to get a first for him or anything so keep him.

Stacy Podelski's picture

Agreed George- I think that Moulson will be one of the guys that the Isles can build around. I hope I am right!

Daniel_W's picture

I think Moulson will be in Toronto by the deadline Wink Laughing out loud

George Prax's picture

So the Leafs will trade more of their few picks.

Great.

Daniel_W's picture

Why would they neccasarily have to trade picks lol Tongue

George Prax's picture
Daniel_W wrote:

Why would they neccasarily have to trade picks lol Tongue

You're aware we're talking about Garth Snow right? This guy amasses picks more than a hoarder collects old shoes. Why would the Isles trade Moulson if it wasn't for picks?

rmo214's picture

Why would the Isles trade a potential consistent 30 goal player for a prospect or a draft pick? Draft picks and prospects are not cut in stone that they will make it to the NHL level, let alone score upwards of 30+ goals. For a team that is one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, I say, keep your assets that you have accumulated, and start building your team already. Granted, a gem of a free agent might come along that works well with the coaching style of the Islanders, but there needs to come a time when you don't trade away your valuable goal scorers, for picks and prospects. Its like your starting to build the team all over again and you have to wait years before the new players get to the level that your trading away. Instead of trading Moulson, why dont they work on getting a second scoring line.

George Prax's picture
rmo214 wrote:

Why would the Isles trade a potential consistent 30 goal player for a prospect or a draft pick? Draft picks and prospects are not cut in stone that they will make it to the NHL level, let alone score upwards of 30+ goals. For a team that is one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, I say, keep your assets that you have accumulated, and start building your team already. Granted, a gem of a free agent might come along that works well with the coaching style of the Islanders, but there needs to come a time when you don't trade away your valuable goal scorers, for picks and prospects. Its like your starting to build the team all over again and you have to wait years before the new players get to the level that your trading away. Instead of trading Moulson, why dont they work on getting a second scoring line.

The answer to your question is that a consistent 30 goal scorer is the only thing the Isles have of value to trade at this point. And to be fair, Moulson isn't exactly a "consistent" 30 goal scorer, he's scored 30 once, and he isn't even on pace to hit 30 this season. I like Moulson and I think he's a real diamond in the rough, but let's not exaggerate and overvalue him either... he's a 27-year-old 9th round pick who only made the league on a team that has little depth at the forward position. There's really not much indication that he could keep this up for multiple years, and he's definitely not a player you build around, he's the spare part that would eventually become expendable. Why not trade him when everyone thinks he can consistently score 30 goals and when he's arguably at the peak of his value?

Daniel_W's picture

Exactly... the word "potential" is being thrown around too much. He's a "potential" 30 goal scorer... yes, he is. But that's a lot different from Taylor Hall being a "potential" franchise players.

George Prax's picture
Daniel_W wrote:

Exactly... the word "potential" is being thrown around too much. He's a "potential" 30 goal scorer... yes, he is. But that's a lot different from Taylor Hall being a "potential" franchise players.

The difference between him and Taylor Hall is that he's nearly a decade older and any free agency he hits from now on will be unrestricted. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't take a pick or picks to get him.

Daniel_W's picture
George Prax wrote:
Daniel_W wrote:

Exactly... the word "potential" is being thrown around too much. He's a "potential" 30 goal scorer... yes, he is. But that's a lot different from Taylor Hall being a "potential" franchise players.

The difference between him and Taylor Hall is that he's nearly a decade older and any free agency he hits from now on will be unrestricted. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't take a pick or picks to get him.

My point exactly. Matt Moulson is pretty much in his prime.

Rob McGowan's picture

Some solid arguments here...Moulson so far has proven that last year's success wasn't a one hit wonder season, but 30 goals and less than 50 ponts isn't something to necessarily build your team around; it's something to add to the pot of rebuilding.

But if Snow is going to get any value for him, now would be the time.