Posts Tagged ‘Matt Moulson’

Top Line: Dire days for Red Wings; strife in Toronto; Roy’s return; more links

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Detroit Red Wings fans

Red Wings fans had better not take the team’s 22-year playoff run for granted. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• George Malik delivers a searing rebuke to Detroit’s fans, who allowed themselves to be outnumbered by Maple Leafs supporters at last night’s game at the Joe.

• The Red Wings won the game, but got another reminder that this might not be their year.

• Detroit is set to pay a significant price off the ice as well.

• Their relationship between goalie James Reimer and coach Randy Carlyle may be damaged beyond the point of repair, but until Jonathan Bernier comes back from his groin sprain, Toronto’s playoff hopes are in the hands of its back-up ‘tender. That being the case, it might behoove Carlyle to deal more diplomatically with Reimer until the coach can again afford to bury him at the end of the bench.

• Patrick Roy left Montreal with a warm glow but not two points after … wait … Travis Moen owns a pizza parlor?

• Veteran netminder J-S Giguere was miserable after making what may have been his final NHL start last night against the Canadiens.

• The play of Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon in that contest reminded Habs coach Michel Therrien of a couple of decent teenagers he’s coached in the past.

• Joe Haggerty reveals the key to the Bruins’ workmanlike 10-game winning streak.

Read More…


  • Published On Mar 19, 2014
  • Thomas Vanek trade bungle is Garth Snow’s latest epic gaffe

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    New York Islanders GM Garth Snow

    GM Garth Snow’s trade market miscalculation will put the Isles in a sticky situation in June. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Wednesday was another bad day in a long line of them for Garth Snow, a man who probably thought he might salvage a lost season on Long Island with a bravura performance at the trade deadline but instead cemented his reputation as the Charlie Brown of NHL general managers, the one whose clothes fly off in all directions when each pitch he throws is hit for a screaming comebacker.

    While the deadline efforts of his peers will require the benefit of time and distance to adequately judge their success, the work of the Islanders GM needs no such perspective.

    It was a disaster.

    CAZENEUVE: Teams to watch in the post-deadline stretch

    While Buffalo’s dynamic duo of Darcy Regier (since fired) and his replacement, Tim Murray, were ultimately able to turn impending free agent Thomas Vanek into a first-round pick, three second-rounders, and forward Torrey Mitchell for the Sabres, all Snow could muster was a conditional second rounder (it’s gone if Montreal fails to make the playoffs) and prospect forward Sebastien Collberg.

    Get that? Buffalo walks away with four picks and an affordable depth forward for Vanek. Snow gets the football yanked away just as he leans into it and the endless rebuild on Long Island takes another step backwards.

    Of all the Garth Snows in the world, he’s the Garth Snowiest.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2014
  • NHL 2014 trade deadline matchmaker

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    Thomas Vanek of the New York Islanders is a hot NHL trade commodity.

    Fit for the KIngs: Islanders sniper Thomas Vanek could help cure L.A.’s offensive woes. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Let’s all offer a word of thanks to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. Without his bold move last Friday night to acquire Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from the Sabres, the build-up to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline in this cap-strangled world could have been a lot less interesting.

    That’s not to say we’re anticipating a series of blockbuster deals, each more spectacular than the last. But when Armstrong went all in he dared the rest of the league to ante up. And given how many teams see themselves as Cup contenders, you can expect that his challenge will be met.

    MUIR: Miller a major upgrade for Blues

    So, what lies ahead? We thought we’d have a little fun by matching up sellers with prospective buyers to see where there might be some common ground. And just to be sure that we’re not veering wildly into fantasyland, we asked an NHL pro scout to give these proposals a once-over. Most, repeat most, passed the smell test, but there are a couple that he thought were “worse than what those message board guys come up with.”

    But then he added, “I can’t figure out what’s going on with a lot of [real] trades. Remember [Martin] Erat for [Filip] Forsberg? Nothing surprises me anymore.”

    With that thought in mind, here are 10 deals we’d like to see:

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  • Published On Mar 03, 2014
  • Top Line: Rangers give Ryan Callahan deadline; Don Cherry tribute; more links

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    Could Rangers captain Ryan Callahan be on his way out of New York? (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    Could Rangers captain Ryan Callahan be on his way out of New York? (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Is it all just posturing? Maybe. But the Ryan Callahan rumors reached a boiling point last night, with sources saying New York GM Glen Sather wants his contract situation resolved before the Olympic roster freeze next Friday. TSN also reported that the Rangers have granted several teams permission to speak with Callahan’s agent. That’s a smart move. Other clubs are more willing to bid — and bid aggressively — if they believe they can sign the feisty winger long-term after acquiring him.

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 01, 2014
  • Coaching change rumored for Islanders; Is Peter Laviolette on wish list?

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    Peter Laviolette coached the New York Islanders for two seasons.

    Peter Laviolette had some success with the Isles before wearing out his welcome. (Ed Betz/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    A season that began with such fresh promise is unraveling like a Rob Ford lie on Long Island. The Islanders are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, and coming off an eighth-straight loss on Thursday night. They’re struggling to correct their course before the playoffs are completely out of their reach, but the outlook is getting grimmer by the day.

    Something has to give. But are they really ready to pin the blame on coach Jack Capuano?

    Botta is a top-notch reporter with deep ties in the organization. If he’s throwing Laviolette’s name out for public consumption, there’s likely more than a little smoke here.

    And it’s a name that’s sure to catch the attention of the dispirited tribe known as the Isles faithful. Laviolette spent two seasons (2001-03) behind the bench on Long Island, guiding a hard-working team to the playoffs both times before being dismissed by infamous GM Mike Milbury in a fit of pique. Since then, Laviolette has won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes (2006), coached Team USA at the Olympics (2006), and guided the Flyers to the Cup Final (2010). These days he’s working as an assistant for Team USA, and is doing some heavy scouting ahead of the team’s roster selection.

    He’s an undeniably capable guy…but bringing him on now would be a pointless move, wouldn’t it?

    Read More…


  • Published On Dec 06, 2013
  • Top Line: Matt Moulson’s magical debut; stunning offer to Vanek; more links

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    Matt Moulson scored two goals in his debut with the Buffalo Sabres.

    Ex-Islander Matt Moulson (26) scored twice in his debut with the Buffalo Sabres. (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Did you hear that new Sabre Matt Moulson had himself a pretty decent night?

    • A source says the Sabres were willing to make Thomas Vanek the highest-paid player in hockey as part of a long-term extension offer. Fact or spin? Tough to say, but considering how poorly this team has spent its money since owner Terry Pegula took over, this one rings true.

    • Here’s something you won’t see every day: Bucky Gleason complimenting Darcy Regier. Of course, it’s not all peaches and cream from the veteran columnist/GM basher.

    • Dave Shoalts, like many before him, considers the depth of Buffalo’s problems and wonders whether Regier is the man to solve them.

    • It was an an emotional return to Buffalo for former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who got the win and the standing ovation. Good to see that his return was handled appropriately after the team bungled a chance to honor former captain Jason Pominville a couple of weeks back.

    • And here’s video proving that Sabres fans are some of the best in hockey.

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 29, 2013
  • Top Line: Thomas Vanek-Matt Moulson swap stuns; Avs’ big night; more links

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    John Tavares and Matt Moulson

    John Tavares had a chemistry with the departing Matt Moulson that won’t be easy to replicate. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The Islanders and Sabres pulled off a stunning swap last night, exchanging pending UFA wingers Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson. This was all about winning now for Islanders GM Garth Snow, who gets the more dynamic player but assumes a considerably higher risk with his end of the bargain.

    • Tim Wharnsby says Moulson and John Tavares had something special going on that Vanek will be hard-pressed to replicate. He also touches on a week of reunions around the league and the resurgence of Jarome Iginla in his Monday morning catch-all.

    • GM Darcy Regier wasn’t able to address the current sorry state of the Sabres, but by making this deal he provided hope for the future.

    • It should be a game of high emotion tonight as Dallas faces Buffalo, with Lindy Ruff returning to meet the Sabres for the first time since being fired last summer. It’ll be interesting to see Steve Ott rev it up against his old teammates, too.

    • Whoever’s in charge of updating the record book in Colorado is earning his keep this month. Matt Duchene’s tally midway through the first period on Sunday tied one mark while a two-goal rally in the third helped the Avs to set another.

    • Adrian Dater explains how it all came together for the surprising Avalanche.

    Read More…


  • Published On Oct 28, 2013
  • Buffalo Sabres trade Thomas Vanek to Islanders for Matt Moulson, draft picks

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    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping the 40-goal mark twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping 40 twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the Sabres have already turned into sellers this season, trading Thomas Vanek to the Islanders, getting back forward Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick, and a 2015 second-rounder.

    First thoughts? I’m guessing the “Fire Darcy” chants have been silenced in Buffalo. A franchise that has been pilloried by its fans and the press since the start of the season for its utter ineptitude on the ice and in the front office just pulled off the sort of deal that will make the suffering yet to come so much more bearable.

    They may have sewn a C on his chest earlier this month, but Vanek wasn’t going to re-sign with the Sabres when he hit free agency this summer. Not a chance. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in hockey that Vanek is pining for a return to Minnesota next season, the state where he played his college hockey and where his good buddy, and former teammate, Jason Pominville currently skates. So removing the distraction and swapping him out for multiple assets makes sense.

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  • Published On Oct 27, 2013
  • Top Line: Ryan Kesler’s obscene rant; a team nixes Tim Thomas; more links

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    Tim Thomas is still looking for an NHL team that's interested in signing him.

    Tim Thomas is still looking for an NHL team that’s interested in signing him. (Winslow Townson/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Good thing it wasn’t Junior Reporter Day at Canucks camp. Ryan Kesler decided to work blue while answering a media question about Vancouver being a team in decline.

    • We can cross one team off the list of possible destinations for Tim Thomas.

    • Roy MacGregor offers up another cracker of a piece that illustrates the three areas of concern — danger, cost and time — that are killing the game of hockey and explains why now is the time to save it.

    • Could the elimination of bodychecking save the game at the youth level?

    • Sounds like another contract stalemate has come to an end. Bruce Garrioch is reporting that the Ottawa Senators have come to terms with RFA defender Jared Cowen on a four-year deal that will pay him $12 million. It’s an interesting deal — sort of a bridge between a bridge and a long-term — and one that will allow both sides to hold their heads up.

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 14, 2013
  • Patrick Kane, Matt Moulson, Martin St. Louis are Lady Byng Trophy finalists

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    Patrick Kane, Matt Moulson. Martin St. Louis are 2013 Lady Byng Trophy finalists

    Patrick Kane, Matt Moulson and Martin St. Louis are paragons of skill and sportsmanship. (Icon SMI (2) :: Getty)

    By Allan Muir

    When was the last time you heard anyone gripe about someone getting snubbed for the Lady Byng Trophy?

    Right. It never happens. Well, until today.

    Good lord, forget about winning the thing, which is awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” How does the Professional Hockey Writers Association not count up enough votes for San Jose’s Logan Couture to get him a spot among the three finalists? Wait … you don’t suppose it’s that East Coast bias thing again, do you?

    OK, so Couture and his 37 points, four penalty minutes and fearless play didn’t make the cut. Fine. Instead, Chicago’s Patrick Kane, New York’s Matt Moulson and Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis were adjudged to be the players who scored the most points and retaliated least often to the abuse they take least often.

    MORE NOMINEES: Hart | Norris | Vezina | Calder | Lindsay | Masterton | Selke

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  • Published On May 16, 2013


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