There’s something to be said for hospitality.
When the New York Islanders traded Matt Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres, Terry Pegula and his wife did what they could to make the transition easy for Moulson and his young family. Which was nice, considering how jarring it was when Moulson was shipped out of Long Island.
He grew to love the fans. He grew to love coach Ted Nolan. He grew to love the franchise.
And then he was traded to the Minnesota Wild at the deadline.
But Moulson recalled all of that kindness as a free agent, and made it a priority to get find a way to continue his career with the Sabres. On Tuesday, Moulson signed a 5-year, $25-million deal complete with a no-trade clause.
The 30-year-old winger became a 30-goal scorer playing with John Tavares in New York and scored a combined 23 goals with the Islanders, Sabres and Wild last season.
“This was the only decision to make,” Moulson told TSN. “There’s a bright future for this team, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
He’ll join forward Brian Gionta (3 years, $12.75 million) and defenseman Josh Gorges with the Sabres, as the two former Canadiens joined Buffalo on Free Agent Frenzy Day.
Many believed the Sabres would be doing all they could to ensure that they land in the top two picks next summer, with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel on the board. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t … whatever the case, Moulson believes in Sabres GM Tim Murray.
“I think they have a clear direction for where they want this team to go,” he said. “And Ted Nolan is an unbelievable coach.”