Sept. 23 — Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports that Moulson has indeed been loaned to the Ontario Reign of the AHL and will cost the team $3.975MM instead of $5MM.
Sept. 7 — The buyout period for the Buffalo Sabres came and went this offseason without Matt Moulson’s name being added to the list, meaning he and his $5MM cap hit are still part of the organization. Moulson hasn’t played a game for the Sabres or their AHL affiliate since December 1st, 2017, instead being loaned to the Ontario Reign upon clearing waivers last season. That agreement looks to be in place again for this season according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, who notes that Moulson is taking part in the Los Angeles Kings informal skates leading up to training camp. Though Rosen notes that the loan would happen if Moulson fails to make the Sabres, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News adds that the veteran forward isn’t even expected to be in Buffalo training camp.
Moulson, 34, was actually an extremely valuable asset for the Reign last season, scoring 46 points in 48 games and showing why he was once a dominant offensive presence in the NHL. In three consecutive seasons for the New York Islanders between 2009-2012, Moulson recorded 30 or more goals playing alongside John Tavares and other talented forwards. That performance dropped off a cliff in Buffalo though, where he failed to even crack 15 in a single season.
Buying out Moulson wasn’t a very good option for the Sabres, as his actual salary drops to just $3MM this season which included a $1MM signing bonus. Since the Sabres have more than enough cap room to fit him in, spreading out that salary over two years didn’t make much sense. Instead they’ll just swallow their pride and continue to bury him in the minor leagues and in a different organization, and use that added cap space to help re-sign the next wave of talent coming through the system. They will technically need to put him through waivers once again before the season begins, but there is little chance of him being claimed by another team given his hefty cap hit.