Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Moulson cleared waivers today, allowing the team to send him to the minor leagues if they choose. Since that hasn’t happened yet, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News asked head coach Phil Housley about the situation. The coach’s response:
Jason [Botterill, GM of the Sabres] and his agent are working on some options but that’s as much as I know at this point.
As with any player, Moulson would likely prefer to go somewhere that has an NHL role for him, but he currently holds a partial no-trade clause. Moulson can submit 12 teams that he’ll accept trades to, but perhaps his agent and Botterill will expand that to get a deal done somewhere. Moulson has another year on his contract at a $5MM cap hit, and the Sabres would likely need to retain some of the salary to facilitate a deal. Whether they can find one that is worth it is still unclear.
- Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports that the St. Louis Blues have opened negotiations with GM Doug Armstrong on a new contract extension. Armstrong is one of several GMs around the league operating in the final year of their contract, something fellow Athletic scribe Frank Provenzano warned against recently. Though the Blues are still looking for the first Stanley Cup in the history of their franchise, Armstrong’s recent moves have put them in a strong position both now and in the future. The Blues have dropped to third in the Central Division, but still remain a playoff favorite this season and still have some promising young talents like Klim Kostin, Tage Thompson, Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou on their way.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, as the team is close to extending their lease through 2037. According to Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times, Hillborough County would commit $61MM over that 20-year period for upgrades to Amalie Arena, with the team also required to put in a large amount. Just today, Forbes ranked the Lightning the 23rd most valuable team in the league, sandwiched between the Islanders and Avalanche at $390MM. That comes as a huge 28% raise over last year’s valuation, and leads the state-rival Florida Panthers by $85MM. Success this season would only serve to help their foothold in the community and state sports market, something that Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman are doing their very best to bring to the team and city. Tampa Bay finds itself in first place in the Atlantic Division and an early favorite for the Stanley Cup Finals.