Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Buffalo Sabres Won the Thomas Vanek Trade

When news of the Thomas Vanek for Matt Moulson swap first broke a lot of fans were shocked and confused, but after time to think the deal over fans of the Buffalo Sabres should be quite pleased with the deal. Of course time will only tell who the draft picks will become but right now the Buffalo Sabres have won the Thomas Vanek trade and are welcoming Matt Moulson in with open arms.

While Matt Moulson in himself is a slight step back from the talent of a Thomas Vanek, he’s still a very respectable forward and an underrated player. Moulson will or should help improve the powerplay and has a knack for scoring goals, the trickiest thing will be finding the right centre for him to play with. Do you put him with Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko or Johan Larsson? All of whom are far cries from John Tavares

In terms of roster players both teams got a fairly even deal. Vanek is a better player but Moulson is slightly cheaper and both players will become free agents after this season. Which leaves two options for both teams; resign their new player or deal him at the deadline and this is where the Buffalo Sabres pull ahead in the trade. If the New York Islanders lose Thomas Vanek to free agency, they have nothing

to fall back on. Where as if the Sabres are unsuccessful at convincing Matt Moulson to stick around, they have two draft picks who can only help the rebuild to fall back on.

Regier has stated many a time that he believes the draft is the best way to rebuild the Buffalo Sabres and with this latest trade the Sabres now have 5 picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 draft and now will or have had 17 draft picks between 2012 and 2015. At this point in time 2015 can’t come fast enough for the Sabres.

Perhaps the best part of this deal, aside from adding draft picks, is the fact that Moulson will be a very valuable chip to trade come deadline time if they choose not to resign him. Just for a second imagine they land another first round pick, that’s two first round picks and a second in exchange for Vanek. Not too shabby Mr. Regier.

Moulson is not the type of star player who can carry the Sabres, but he is a player who has the potential to carry them through the rebuild paired with Hodgson and players like Marcus Foligno. He’s scored 30 goals in each of his last three season’s so he isn’t exactly a chump.

In all likelihood, Regier will flip Moulson at or before the deadline for at the very least another first round draft pick. By the time the dust has settled the Buffalo Sabres will have gathered themselves a nice little package in exchange for Thomas Vanek. Who knows who the draft picks will turn out to be, but building for the future right now is the best thing the Sabres can do.

Do you think the Sabres won the Thomas Vanek trade or did they not get enough in the deal?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Matt Moulson Thomas Vanek

  • Michael McBurney

    Presuming that it’s true enough Vanek hasn’t been “happy” and his seemingly general sulky/depressed attitude was in fact him being sulky/depressed (and not say, just cuz that’s his normal look as a calmer type guy), then there is another big reason the Sabres have won the trade – they’ve removed a drag on their youth corps, refreshed the group dynamics, and opened up some room for some of their younger vets (like Stafford, Hodgson, Myers, etc.) to step it up.

    In any environment, when a veteran of the group is so well respected, he’s also readily deferred to by any incoming newbs, which means if he’s upbeat and pushing it himself all is great, but if that vet is a downer then even the most positive and energetic guys are gonna tone it down too. It’s just hard to come out full of vinegar and having a positive attitude (both of which are actually needed to win a hockey game) when your leader(s) is(are) “unhappy”.

    Any which way though, changing up the group dynamic can’t be a bad thing at this stage ;-)

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I’m glad the Sabres are cleaning house and getting rid of the player with poor attitudes and replacing them with young players who want to work hard and win. It was clear Vanek wanted out of town and when you have a player like that you’re not going to see his best.

  • qwicwted

    Michael, I like the way you put that. Vanek has been petulant since his buddy Gaustad and more recently Pomminville were traded. I was hopng he would step up, but instead we got more of the same. I like this trade – Mouslon has been flying under the radar the past five years. He’s consistent and he brings a workman like mentality with him. I would rather have our youngsters learn and grow with him as their mentor and leader than be led by Vanek’s attitude. Vanek had checked out – I want to see Buffalo go back to being the “hardest working team” in the league. Wouldn’t it be surprising to see Moulson thrive and shine in his new capacity of being a “vet” and “leader” on this team. Funny things is – we’re all talking worst case we trade him, what about best scenario – he makes this “his” team. Either way…..Buffalo wins.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      You could tell that Vanek’s effort and heart was no longer in Buffalo, he wanted out and had to go. After his big night tonight, I’m very impressed by Moulson, like you said he works and that’s something all youngsters should take note of.

  • davidmuscalo

    Personally, I am pleased that the speculation on Vanek’s future is over. Also, I agree with Regier that the Sabres need to rebuild through the draft – quality players simply do not want to play for the Sabres. What I do not agree with is the fact the Regier will be doing the player selection at draft time.

    Also, the big winner in this deal could be the Islanders. Both Vanek and Moulson will be free agents at the end of the season. The islanders could sign both of them and have powerhouse team next season with Traveres, Moulson and Vanek.

    As for the draft picks, they will likely be middle-round picks in a weak draft year. Ergo, the Islanders really didn’t give much to get Vanek.

    On the positive side, Moulson makes half as much as Vanek – more cap space to work with.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      It sure is nice to have an end to the Vanek saga… next up is Miller. I agree, Regier is not the right guy to draft players for the future, he has not done a solid job at that and the Sabres could use a fresh set of eyes.