The Islanders acquired forward Thomas Vanek, an All-Star in 2009, from the struggling Sabres on Sunday for forward Matt Moulson, New York's leading goal scorer three of the past four seasons; a first-round draft pick in 2014; and a second-round pick in 2015.
Vanek and Moulson, both 29, can become unrestricted free agents after this season. If Vanek makes it to free agency, two-time 40-goal scorer is expected to be the most coveted forward on the market. His agent, Stephen Bartlett, said no contract extension is part of the trade and Vanek is "excited to be an Islander."
"We'll take it day by day and focus on the short term for now and see where we are at season's end," Bartlett told Canada's TSN TV network.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow said he didn't like the way his team has been playing. The Islanders, who made the playoffs last season and are expected to contend for a spot this year, have started 4-4-3.
"We're better than our record indicates, and we need to take the next step," Snow said. "We had the opportunity to acquire an elite player, and given where we are right now, you go for it."
Moulson, who found success in New York on a line with All-Star center John Tavares, is expected to command more on the open market if he gets to free agency. "Would like to thank all the great people and fans I was able to meet in NY," he posted on Twitter. "I will miss you all. This is the beginning of a new chapter."
Whether or not the Sabres re-sign him, the draft picks they acquired will help in rebuilding a team that is off to a league-worst 2-10-1.
"Matt will address our current needs and provide us with support, leadership, scoring," Sabres GM Darcy Regier said. "With where our hockey club is, the first- and second-round picks are important.
"Whether we use the picks to select players at the draft or whether we use them to continue to improve the hockey club as we go forward through this season has yet to be determined, but that was the focus for this deal."
Buffalo, which began rebuilding in earnest last season by trading veterans, has had two first-round picks in each of the past two drafts. With Sunday's trade, they have a combined 17 first- and second-round picks from 2012-15.
Discipline roundup: Coyotes center Martin Hanzal has a hearing today for a hit on Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry on Saturday. Hanzal checked Petry against the boards after Petry had moved the puck and got a minor charging penalty. Petry remained in the game.
more Around the league: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who has missed the past two games with an unspecified injury he said was minor, said he is 100 percent now and will start tonight's home opener against the Canadiens.
Game highlights: Alex Stalock stopped 38 shots in his first NHL start to lead the Sharks to a 5-2 victory against the host Senators. … In the Ducks' 4-3 win over the host Blue Jackets, Anaheim lost Saku Koivu late in the second period on a hit that got Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky ejected. Koivu, who had just passed the puck crossing into the Columbus zone, had to be helped from the ice. Dubinsky said he didn't have any malicious intent and was just trying to read the play.
First—1, SJ, Hertl 8 (Sheppard, Demers), 1:16. 2, SJ, Desjardins 1 (Stuart), 6:35. 3, Ott, E.Karlsson 3 (Turris, Conacher), 11:07. 4, SJ, Wingels 3 (Couture, Vlasic), 18:15 (sh). Penalties—Brown, SJ (interference), 17:17.
Second—5, Ott, Methot 1 (E.Karlsson, Spezza), 9:09. Penalties—Spezza, Ott (trip), 1:54; SJ bench, served by Brown (too many men), 4:21; Corvo, Ott (hook), 11:16.
Third—6, SJ, Sheppard 1 (Thornton), 1:29. 7, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Braun, Wingels), 7:59. Penalties—Neil, Ott (cross-checking), 11:37; Irwin, SJ (broken stick), 13:17. Shots on Goal—SJ 12-11-6—29. Ott 17-12-11—40. PP opps—SJ 0 of 3; Ott 0 of 3. Goalies—SJ, Stalock 1-0-0 (40 shots-38 saves). Ott, C.Anderson 4-3-2 (29-24).
First—1, Colorado, Duchene 9 (Downie, Wilson), 8:04. 2, Winnipeg, Little 6 (Pardy, Wheeler), 11:00. Penalties—Hejda, Col (interference), 12:37.
Second—3, Winnipeg, Wheeler 4 (Little, Clitsome), 10:02. Penalties—Frolik, Wpg (goaltender interference), 2:50; Sarich, Col (interference), 7:59; Jokinen, Wpg (roughing), 9:26; Guenin, Col (roughing), 9:26; Bordeleau, Col (illegal check to head minor), 14:53; Hejda, Col (tripping), 18:17.
Third—4, Colorado, Hejda 2 (Stastny, Landeskog), 7:13. 5, Colorado, Stastny 2 (Landeskog, Tanguay), 14:32. Penalties—Mitchell, Col (high-sticking), 12:14. Shots on Goal—Winnipeg 8-11-6—25. Colorado 10-9-17—36. Power-play opportunities—Winnipeg 0 of 5; Colorado 0 of 1. Goalies—Winnipeg, Montoya 1-1-0 (36 shots-33 saves). Colorado, Varlamov 7-1-0 (25-23).
|at Blue Jackets||1||1||1||3|
First—1, Columbus, Comeau 1 (Johansen, Savard), 12:56. Penalties—Letestu, Clm (high-sticking), 5:27; Foligno, Clm (roughing), 14:33.
Second—2, Anaheim, Getzlaf 5 (Perry, Allen), :19. 3, Anaheim, Holland 1 (Palmieri, Smith-Pelly), 6:59. 4, Columbus, Anisimov 3 (Dubinsky), 12:12 (sh). Penalties—Johnson, Clm (roughing), 11:50; Dubinsky, Clm, served by Chaput, major-game misconduct (interference), 19:25.
Third—5, Anaheim, Etem 2 (Selanne, Bonino), 1:51 (pp). 6, Columbus, Anisimov 4 (Wisniewski, Foligno), 8:24. 7, Anaheim, Perry 6, 17:35. Penalties—Beauchemin, Ana (hooking), 18:33. Shots on Goal—Anaheim 9-11-12—32. Columbus 11-4-6—21. PP opportunities—Anaheim 1 of 5; Columbus 0 of 1. Goalies—Anaheim, Andersen 3-0-0 (21 shots-18 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 4-6-0 (32-28).