Just moments after our last piece that referenced how the Buffalo Sabres and Matt Moulson were working to find an option for him, the team announced that the veteran forward has been loaned to the Ontario Reign of the AHL. The Reign are the affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, but Moulson will remain on the books for the Sabres. As Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News points out, Moulson’s wife and Jonathan Quick’s wife are sisters, giving him family ties to the area and organization.
This move would seem to at least halt any trade speculation for the time being, as the Sabres likely exhausted all options before sending Moulson to Ontario. That speculation may pick up in the future should he play well at the AHL level, since the 34-year old forward still costs the Sabres a hefty salary while playing in the minor leagues. Though his signing bonus for this year will have already been paid, he still carries a $3MM salary for the year (with a $5MM cap hit).
Moulson is also a candidate to be bought out at the end of the year, though because of the back-loaded nature of his deal it won’t save the Sabres a ton of cap space. He would still carry a $3.67MM cap hit for 2018-19, and a $667K hit for 2019-20. They’d also save only about $750K in actual money, though he would at least be free to search for another opportunity and remove a contract from the roster for the Sabres.