NY Islanders News

The Isles Settle with Moulson

By John Panarese

Perhaps the surprise story and happiest of the off season acquisitions Garth Snow signed prior to the 2009-2010 season, Matt Moulson and the New York Islanders reached an agreement for a one year contract just before his arbitration hearing this morning. This, to me, was good news as far as having the team get the deal done prior to an actual hearing needing to take place.

Moulson certainly had a “story book” season, scoring 30 goals after being pretty much cast off by the Los Angeles Kings. Often being on a line with John Tavares, Matt found a very nice scoring touch and gained much success setting up in his “office” just outside of the blue paint. He had a number of “big goals” for the Isles, and his sense of humor and personality were aspects of the guy that definitely made him quickly become among my favorites on the team.

It is interesting that the Isles and Moulson settled on a one year deal. He will then be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. If this was meant as a “proving” season to see if Moulson is the “real deal”, it will then be risky as far as having to get an extension done before July 1 of 2011. Of course, it won’t matter if he does not have such an impressive season, but I am of the mind that he will come back with another solid, 82 game effort.

From Moulson’s standpoint, well, he’s pretty much placed himself in a great spot. If he continues to show the scoring touch, he can entertain offers for his services elsewhere that could earn him some nice spending cash. If the Islanders want to keep him, well, they will have to be the team to offer him that incentive to stick around.

Personally, and it is simply a matter of opinion and it is why I am not a hockey GM, I would have preferred a two year deal. The Isles don’t have cap issues, and I would have felt more comfortable having an extra year there should he prove to be a good scorer. Obviously, if he flops, you are stuck with the contract for another year, but let’s face it … the Islanders have taken much bigger risks on long term deals …