Isles get Vanek from Sabres for Moulson, picks

 Thomas Vanek joins the Islanders in a blockbuster trade that sends Matt Moulson and two draft picks to the Sabres.

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Thomas Vanek joins the Islanders in a blockbuster trade that sends Matt Moulson and two draft picks to the Sabres.

There’s been a blockbuster on the Island.

The Islanders made a huge move on Sunday night, trading left winger Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-rounder in 2015 to the struggling Buffalo Sabres for explosive forward Thomas Vanek.

Moulson, 29, was in his fifth season with the Islanders, where he tallied 223 points in 304 games. He ranked fourth on the team in points before the trade, with six goals and three assists on the year.

Vanek, also 29, was the home captain of the Sabres and has 254 goals in his career, four of them this season.

The Islanders depart with locker-room favorite Matt Moulson, along with two draft picks.

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Islanders depart with locker-room favorite Matt Moulson, along with two draft picks.

Both players are in the final years of their contracts, making the move a bit puzzling at first glance from the Isles’ perspective.

Moulson is a well-liked player in the locker room and with the fan base, and his departure — along with two draft picks — seems to be a lot considering Vanek could be nothing more than a rental at season’s end. One must also wonder the effect this move might have on captain John Tavares, who was family friends with Moulson before they became teammates.

What the move does do is assert that the organization is ready to win now. Vanek is a proven offensive weapon while Moulson has flirted with breakout status for the past four seasons.

As it turns out, Moulson and Vanek both recorded goals when the Islanders and Sabres faced off on Oct. 15. The Isles lost that game, 4-3, in a shootout, one where Moulson and Vanek also found the net.  

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