Matt Moulson was the King who got away. Once the Penguins, who drafted Moulson in the ninth round in 2003, declined to sign the Cornell standout, Los Angeles made him an offer. Moulson spent his seasons in the organization mostly in Manchester, the Kings’ AHL team. Instead of re-signing Moulson, the Kings let him walk.
“With Zetterberg’s injury I think Ken Holland will have some interest in Hemsky” Shannon… #tradetalk
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 22, 2014
The NHL’s March 5 trade deadline is just 11 days after the Olympic roster freeze ends on Feb. 23.
Don’t expect any major moves from the San Jose Sharks, who are a virtual lock to make it to the postseason, could still make a run at the Pacific Division title with a little luck, and will be getting some key players back for the stretch run.
In a conversation just before the Olympic break when asked about the approaching deadline, general manager Doug Wilson pointed to the numerous Sharks that are ready to return from injury, including Logan Couture and Raffi Torres, who has yet to make his season debut. Adam Burish played his first two games of the season just before the break, so he’ll still be finding his legs when the season resumes on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia, too.
The impact on the Islanders is immediate. Any hopes of clawing back into the playoff race are shot. The Islanders entered the Olympic break 3-6-1 in their past 10 games, 12 points behind Detroit — a team that has played two fewer games — for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The playoff hopes were probably toast regardless, but the Islanders started 2014 with eight wins in their first 10 games. They will also come out of the break with games against Toronto, New Jersey, Florida, Winnipeg and Edmonton, not exactly a murderer’s row. The trio of Thomas Vanek, Tavares and Kyle Okposo is as lethal a line as there is in the NHL. Only two other lines (the David Krejci and Jonathan Toews lines) have produced more than their 33 goals this season.
Now it’s likely that Okposo will be the only one of those three on the ice for the Islanders when New York plays the Oilers after the trade deadline on March 5.
If he wasn’t already, GM Garth Snow has to go into complete sell mode.
If the Devils are to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight season, they will have to find a way to score more goals. That much is certain.
What is not so clear is where they’ll get those goals. The NHL trade deadline is March 5, if general manager Lou Lamoriello can swing a deal for a goal-scorer.