Moulson was the only Sabre who could beat Montreal netminder Al Montoya in Thursday's season-opening 4-1 loss. He took four shots and finished minus-1 in 11:29 on the ice.
Once upon a time, Moulson was John Tavares' wingman and a three-time 30-goal man for the Islanders -- but that's ancient history at this point. The latter-day Moulson is a third-liner at best who's looking to bounce back from the worst season of his career; this was a solid start, but it doesn't mean fantasy owners should be running out to pick him up.
Moulson skated alongside Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart at Wednesday's skate.
Moulson is coming off a difficult season where he scored just eight goals in 81 games, and he's getting an early look on Buffalo's second line. Reinhart, Kyle Okposo and Brian Gionta are virtual locks for the top three spots on the right wing, but the left wing will likely be more fluid and feature Moulson, Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis and possibly Zemgus Girgensons rotating between the top three spots, depending on injuries or matchups. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect Moulson to be a fixture on that second line -- with Tyler Ennis playing with Kyle Okposo for the time being, it is still Kane's job to lose. At 32 years old and severely declining production, Moulson is a risky bet.
Moulson says he has "a chip on his shoulder" after having a "big summer" with renewed dedication to his training, the Olean Times Herald reports.
Moulson played so poorly last year that he spent much of the year on the team's bottom three lines, and was even made a healthy scratch at various points throughout the season. After investing $25 million in John Tavares' former linemate in 2014, Moulson has scored just 21 goals in 168 games for the Sabres. Even though word from camp has been positive, the 32-year-old is a low-upside scoring winger on a team that has plenty of wingers ahead of him on the depth chart. Fantasy owners will be better off leaving Moulson on the waiver wire until he shows consistent production.
Matt Moulson will remain a Sabre next season, reports Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News.
Moulson signed a five-year, $25 million deal in 2014 but has struggled since inking the deal. Over the past two seasons he's scored just 21 goals in 158 games, and often found himself on the fourth line. Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said it was a "tough season" for everyone involved, but expects him to return after the summer. Moulson's best days are clearly over with Buffalo's youth movement, and consistency and conditioning remain the two biggest things Moulson has to work on. Any more seasons like the one he had this year and he will find himself out of the league before long. His fantasy value is close to none.
It was Moulson's first goal since Feb. 16 and only his sixth in 76 games this season. Although scoring a goal is a step in the right direction, Moulson also finished the night with a minus-2 rating. The embattled veteran has spent most of the season on the fourth line and has even been a healthy scratch on occasion. Despite lots of power-play time recently, he just hasn't been very effective, and his signing could go down as one of the biggest free-agent busts in league history.