The purging for the Buffalo Sabres may have began this morning, as the team announced that F Matt Moulson would be waived for the purpose of assignment, which he officially was at noon.
Moulson, 34, had been a member of the Sabres since he was traded by the New York Islanders in October 2013. Buffalo traded Moulson again later that season to Minnesota but he returned as a UFA the following summer via a five year, $25 million deal. Though his dedication to the team and Buffalo is admirable, Moulson’s time here has not been successful and he has never recorded more than 30 points. That is not anywhere near a good enough return to make the large amount of salary cap space he eats worth it. He has one more season remaining on his contract and is owed $5 million. It was reported that the team attempted to trade him based on a 12-team list, but there were no takers.
I’ve met Matt Moulson multiple times and can you tell you that he’s a genuinely nice guy. I feel bad to say it, but getting rid of him is a smart move for multiple reasons. If another team claims the 34-year-old, it would create both cap space and a spot on the roster for one of Rochester’s many deserving young forwards, such as Justin Bailey, Nicolas Baptiste or Hudson Fasching. Moulson has not yet been claimed and will report to Rochester if he clears, which I doubt the team wants.
Ryan O’Reilly told John Vogl of The Buffalo News this morning that the team is aware that similar moves could be coming.
“There’s so many good guys in this dressing room and you don’t want to see any of them leave,” he said. “If we don’t win, it’s going to happen. We’ve got to start doing it for guys’ careers, start winning just to keep this group together.”
With the Sabres sitting at dead-last in the NHL with just six wins, more moves could be imminent. Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo, the latter of whom is protected by his no-movement clause, appear to be the only ones who are safe.
- The Sabres announced just now that F Scott Wilson has been acquired from Detroit for a fifth round pick in 2019.
- TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted this morning that teams have inquired about both Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson, but apparently asked nothing more than their availability.