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Moulson unlikely to return to Isles in free agency

Mar 18, 2014, 4:28 PM EDT

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Matt Moulson says he enjoyed his time on Long Island and was extremely close to his teammates.

Just don’t expect those feelings to factor into a potential move back to the Islanders.

Moulson, set to become a UFA at season’s end, didn’t sound very keen on the idea of re-joining the club he made his mark as a NHLer with.

“It’s been said that I wasn’t in the future plans, so I don’t think that will quickly change,” he explained, per NHL.com. “I’m just going to concentrate on helping Minnesota to win right now.”

Moulson, 30, spent five years in New York and developed into a quality trigger man alongside John Tavares, scoring 30 goals three times (including a career-high 36 in 2011-12). Signed to a modest three-year, $9.4 million deal in ’11, Moulson has been of the league’s better value signings and could be primed to cash in this summer, which is part of the reason why the Isles dealt him to Buffalo as part of the Thomas Vanek trade.

Reunion-type conversations are the rage right now — similar questions have been asked of Ryan Callahan about a possible return to the Rangers — so it’s not surprising that Moulson’s having them. But, based on his responses to the queries, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be back in the blue, orange and white.

“At the time, I thought I’d be here for the rest of my career,” he said. “We never had discussions about any future plans or anything.

“That kind of caught me off guard.”

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