Winners and Losers of Thomas Vanek Trade Between Islanders and Sabres
The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres just completed a monumental trade that is bringing Thomas Vanek to Long Island, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.
But who are the biggest winners and losers of the deal?
There are a number of variables to consider, and many different people—both on and off the ice—will greatly benefit from this transaction. Here are the biggest winners and losers from the Vanek blockbuster.
Winner: Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek has been a great player for the Buffalo Sabres.
But he is going to showcase his true skills with the New York Islanders. He is going to have a chance to make the playoffs, and he is good enough to be a difference maker for an Islander team that almost made it out of the first round last season.
Vanek is also in a better position to increase his production, and that will help him negotiate a new deal in a contract year.
Loser: Matt Moulson
Matt Moulson is now in Buffalo.
He is a talented winger who has scored 30 goals in a number of seasons, but Cody Hodgson is not John Tavares.
Although Moulson’s success was not completely tied to his relationship with Tavares, it is expected that there will be a drop-off in his game once he suits up for the Buffalo Sabres.
There isn't a center of Tavares' caliber in Buffalo, and that could severely hurt his game. If you look at his overall stats, Moulson was a slow learner who got better during his time with the Islanders.
Now he has to prove that he can produce without Tavares.
Winner: John Tavares
Numerous publications expected John Tavares to be a top player this year, and Islander fans have to be thrilled with this trade. Thomas Vanek is an elite goal-scorer that has never played with an elite center, and the duo could be very successful this season.
If you look at his stats, Tavares has progressed every year since entering the league, and this could be his best when you consider Vanek will right by his side. Last year was a huge season for Tavares, and there is no reason why he can't hit the 90 point plateau this season.
It is going to be fun watching Tavares line up with Vanek this week, and there are a lot of reasons for Islander fans to be hopeful right now.
Loser: Buffalo Sabres
There was no guarantee that Thomas Vanek was going to re-sign with Buffalo, but the Sabres could have gotten more for their top goal scorer. Matt Moulson is a nice complimentary player, but he is also a free agent at the season’s end.
If Vanek helps turn the Islanders into a playoff team, this year’s first-round pick won’t help the Sabres much—and a second-round pick is a crapshoot at this point.
For a team that is in a dire need of a rebuild, it is fair to say that they should have waited for better offers to come along.
Winner: Garth Snow
The New York Islanders have been a solid team so far, but this move will help turn them into a contender. Garth Snow should be congratulated for acquiring an elite goal scorer at a bargain rate, even though he could walk this summer.
The Islanders are trying to build a playoff contender, and this move shows that Snow is willing to pull out all the stops to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.
Losers: Teams That Missed out
The Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are desperate for wins, and the addition of Thomas Vanek could have helped to turn things around. The Flyers, Oilers and Rangers have all been ravaged by injury, and each team would have had the necessary pieces to get trade talks going.
While none of them may have been willing to risk assets for a rental, Vanek would have increased each team's odds of making the playoffs. Vanek will now suit up for the New York Islanders, and that could hurt both the Rangers and Flyers going forward.