Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild made a move to grab veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to backup Darcy Kuemper. The move was not a huge splash, but more of a safety net for the team’s lack of a second goalie option. Today, the Wild made said big splash, acquiring Matt Moulson from the Buffalo Sabres, according to John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
The Left-Winger Moulson, 30, is not a name most casual hockey fans will recognize. But for those die-hard NHL gurus, they know Moulson is a huge addition to the already formidable Wild lineup. In 55 games played this season, Moulson has 38 points on 17 goals and 21 assists.
Also coming to the Wild is Cody McCormick, a veteran player who has been on a merry-go-round from the NHL to the minors. In exchange, the Wild gave up Torrey Mitchell, who has underperformed this year to say the least (only 9 points and one goal), and future draft picks.
The real struggle will come in the offseason, when Moulson is an unrestricted free agent. The best case scenario would be to acquire his services for more than just a deep playoff run this season — Wild fans want to sign this guy to a new deal so he can make this team a perennial contender. With all the talent on the Minnesota roster, convincing him to stay hopefully won’t prove difficult.
The Wild and their fans should be grateful for the Buffalo Sabres, the team who gave them not only Moulson, but also current star Jason Pominville last year in a trade. Another huge name that has been long speculated (and almost guaranteed by Minnesota fans) to come to the Wild this summer is Thomas Vanek, former Golden Gopher Hockey standout.
Vanek was just traded to the Canadiens today (after earlier this season being traded to the Islanders from the Sabres for Moulson) — Vanek is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer as well. So as you can see, both Moulson and Vanek have Sabres ties, both have been on the move this season, and both, Wild fans are desperately hoping, will find a permanent home at the Xcel Energy Center.
Photos via: Google