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Matt Moulson seems comfortable with prospect of contract year

Aug 8, 2013, 6:42 PM EDT

mattmoulsongetty Getty Images

While John Tavares is finally getting well-deserved recognition as an elite NHL forward, his New York Islanders running mate Matt Moulson remains a hidden gem for most. Perhaps that explains why the 29-year-old goal-scoring machine seems primed to play out his upcoming contract year, then.

The former ninth-round pick (263rd overall in 2003) told New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple on Thursday that there haven’t been any talks about a contract extension. Moulson said the subject “isn’t on his radar.”

“That’s what I pay my agent for,” Moulson said. “I’m going to try to help this team win games and make sure my mind’s on that.”

The good news for anxious Islanders fans is that Moulson’s agent could very well agree to an extension while Moulson focuses on the hockey aspect exclusively. (Although playing out the year seems more lucrative and likely.)

Either way, he could be line for a healthy raise from his current bargain $3.13 million cap hit. Before the abbreviated 2013 season, Moulson generated three consecutive 30+ goal seasons.

He was a touch off that pace with 15 goals in 47 games last season, yet his 9.7 shooting percentage was shy of his career 13.7 mark. More games and added puck luck could help him generate an impressive contract year and a robust raise.

Yet, as you can see from the Islanders salary structure, GM Garth Snow is developing a knack for signing players to team-friendly deals … especially since the team bought out Rick DiPietro.

Whether retaining Moulson costs a pretty penny or not, it’s likely that the Islanders are still glad they heeded Tavares’ advice to give his buddy a shot years ago.

  1. lowenni - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    He should be looking for something similar to someone like Chris Kunitz’s contract. While Moulson and Kunitz are both very solid players, and Moulson is extremely underrated, they are only stars because of the centers they play with. They crash the net and have some skill. He complements Tavares quite well but shouldn’t be expected to be paid like a star.

  2. bcisleman - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    MattyMo will want to stay JT’s linemate. He’ll re-sign before next season ends.

  3. billyhauntswizards - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    have 90% confidence he doesn’t go to another team. One of his best friends is his center who made him relevant, why would he leave?

  4. justinshea - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Him and JT are great friends and that is probably the only reason MM was bought to LI in first place and given the ice time to flourish.,They have made some beautiful music together over these last four years. And, when JT was getting pushed around the ice, falling in the corners and putting up only 50 or so points as a rookie, MM still put up 30 and helped his rookie center. As JT has turned into a beast Moulson has definitely benefited but, like the other poster said, they are a great complement to each other.
    That being said, the last time the Isles had a chance to sign a player at the height of his prime and in his late twenties they balked (PA Paranteau). They are a cap conscious team (to say the least) and signing guys at the height of their powers is not something they have practiced. If I am MM of course I want to ride shotgun next to one of the games emerging super stars (and my good friend) as he get’s better and better. But, at the same time, I want to cash in for the 3-4 years that should be the best of my career…there is only one chance at that. That, combined with the frugality of the Isles, makes me think the chances of him not re-signing are greater then some seem to think.

    • justinshea - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      and just to follow up…strictly from a hockey standpoint..he did not have his best season last year. I don’t think he was in great shape or maybe he had some sort of nagging injury. His lack of foot speed, reliance on his stick and lack of physicality along the boards seemed to be accentuated last season and really hurt the 1st lines transition game. Of course, it might have been the fact that Brad Boyes was on the other wing (notice he still doesn’t have a contract after his “bounce back” season). Without him (and PMB or Strome instead), MMs weaknesses will be much better compensated for.
      I just can’t see Garth giving him the security of a five year is not the Isles M.O. And, if I am Moulson, that is what I want (and will get from some other team) at this stage in my career.

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