The last week and a half has been rough for Islanders fans. We went from a high profile waiver claim holding out and being suspended, to fans around the league blasting the organization for the claim, to a few losses to end the week prior to the All Star break.
Let’s not forget to mention the NHL snubbing the Islanders by not choosing a player to participate in the actual game on Sunday in Raleigh. Instead, and rightfully so; Michael Grabner will represent the team in the skills competition tonight.
There was a bright spot this week though, and it wasn’t even the result of snow blindness – pending unrestricted free agent Matt Moulson has been signed to a three year contract extension.
Moulson had been quoted in Newsday last week saying that he wasn’t interested in playing anywhere else, despite the murmurs that he could potentially be dealt in a trade either before or on the deadline. It’s not often as Islanders fans that we hear players wanting to play for the organization, let alone basically begging to stay.
In his post extension interviews with Katie Strang of Newsday, Moulson was elated. He talked about his excitement of the chance to stay with what he termed “the best group of guys he has ever played with” and wants to be part of the organizations turn around and ultimately wants to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Over the last two seasons I have witnessed a player blossom from someone trying to find his game, to a thirty goal scorer, and now into a young veteran who’s about to prove his success wasn’t a fluke. Moulson has confidence and most importantly a skill that many lack – the ability to drive to the net and score gritty goals. For his play, he has justly been rewarded with the three year extension worth just over $3 million a year.
One quick note worth mentioning, holdout Evgeni Nabokov and Matt Moulson share the same agent – Don Meehan. Clearly, Garth and Don continue to share a good professional relationship – a very important and necessary evil in professional sports.
The Islanders will have to visit extending several more pending UFA and RFA players in the coming months – one of which is a player I’d like to see locked up long term as well in our All Star, Michael Grabner.
Better times are ahead of us – patience is certainly something that Garth Snow will reward us for. You’ll see.