The trade is interesting. Two players that score nearly the same amount of goals on a yearly basis, Moulson 30+ and Vanek, also 30 +, possibly 40. So, on a good year, Vanek will score more than Moulson. Most people believe Moulson’s stats were padded by playing with John Tavares. Vanek has the advantage of being a better 2 way player that can create as well as finish. He’s already proven both skills in his 3 games with the Islanders. He’ll be working with a great player in JT, so I’d count on some good numbers from Vanek moving forward, which only increases his value both monetarily, and in trade.
Is Moulson a 20 goal scorer without JT? 30? He’s more likely a 20 goal scorer, but he’s got the rest of this season to prove everyone wrong and dial in a huge 30 + goal/season payday. At best, he’ll earn Thomas Vanek money (7.14 million cap hit per season).
Vanek stands to increase his point and goal total playing alongside JT. He, being Vanek, will also command Vanek money (and very likely a raise over his current 7 million), especially if he nets 40 or more with the Isles. The Isles are desperate to sign him as well, so I would factor that into his final salary demands should he choose the Island as his home for the next 5 – 10 years. The Isles obviously didn’t want to pay Moulson Vanek money, so will they be opposed to paying it to Vanek?
Why are the Islanders desperate to sign him? It’s about saving face. They rolled the dice with this deal. Getting Vanek to stay give’s them more credibility as they begin the shift to the Barclay’s Center. It’s not about the arena anymore, it’s about the team and Charles Wang’s check book. If they’re not interested in paying Vanek, then they shouldn’t have made the trade. I’m glad they made the trade. It shows some fight. I’ll be more glad when they sign Vanek and then upgrade the D. If they refuse to meet Vanek’s demands and he goes to free agency and signs elsewhere? What then?
There are several possibilities that could have panned out regarding Moulson. Moulson could have been traded near the deadline, signed before the deadline or signed after the season. The bottom line, no matter how much he wanted to sign with the team, if they weren’t willing to give him the raise his numbers deserve, then they should have traded him before the deadline. They did. This doesn’t preclude them from signing him after the season, however, if they weren’t willing to pay him, and/or weren’t satisfied with his style of play, then it’s best for the team to get a return. Even better that it is a star player in his prime.
The draft picks are interesting. Since Buffalo is picking up a portion of Vanek’s salary this season, it makes sense that Isles sweeten the deal a bit, perhaps with the 2nd rounder? The team is still budget minded and has a stockpile of young players in the wings. They don’t need a second round pick. To me, a second round pick is nearly worthless anyway. I understand that you can get a good/great player in the second round. Odds are against it. That second rounder seems like it was for the money. And I say – so be it.
The first rounder is another story. If Moulson, as has been suggested, is worth a 1st rounder at the deadline, then the Isles have traded almost an entire season of Moulson, a first round pick coming from the future trade of Moulson at the deadline, their 2014 or 2015 first round and 2015 second round picks for an entire or partial season of Thomas Vanek. If the Islanders can’t sell Vanek on staying with the team, then they can flip him near the deadline for a first rounder and likely a decent prospect as well. In this scenario, the Islanders get nearly a full season of Vanek, a first rounder, and a top prospect. If they allow another team to negotiate a contract with him during the season, they could net more. Perhaps a second round pick? I think you see where this is going.
Moulson until trade deadline
First rounder from another team in a trade for Moulson
2014 or 2015 first rounder from Isles
2015 second rounder from Isles
Vanek until trade deadline
first round pick from a contender
top prospect from a contender
second round pick from a contender for getting a contract with Vanek signed
Sure, a lot of this is conjecture at this point, but it is all reasonable. Whether they re-sign Vanek or not, the team didn’t get royally screwed in this one, and could end up near where they would have been if they traded Moulson before the deadline. If it pans out and they sign Vanek, it’s a steal. Moulson was gone anyway, and very small chance any of those draft picks becomes Vanek level in the NHL.
And like I said, they still have the opportunity to resign Moulson if he doesn’t sign elsewhere. *cough *cough