For the second-consecutive year, Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has pulled the trigger on a move to bolster the club’s lineup with a skilled winger with the Trade Deadline Day clock winding down.
The Wild has acquired forwards Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Torrey Mitchell, a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft (previously acquired from Winnipeg) and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Moulson was among the top forwards rumored to be available before the Trade Deadline. Minnesota is the third destination for the forward this season; he was acquired by the Sabres along with a first-round pick in the 2014 draft and a second-round pick in 2015 from the New York Islanders in exchange for Thomas Vanek on Oct. 27, 2013. He has 38 points (17-21=38) in 55 games this season with the Islanders and Buffalo.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound wing has notched 262 points (135-127=262), including 16 game-winning goals, in 377 career NHL games with Los Angeles, the Islanders and Buffalo.
Moulson has a nose for the net and will add punch to the Wild’s power play. He is fourth in the NHL in power play tallies (47) and 16th goals scored since the 2009-10 season. He comes to Minnesota on a hot streak, scoring eight points (2-6=8) in his last six games with Buffalo.
The North York, Ont. native collected 44 points (15-29=44) in 47 games with the Islanders last season and tied for seventh in the NHL with eight power-play goals. The left-handed shooting forward set career-highs in goals (36), assists (33) and points (69) with New York in 2011-12 and ranked 10th in the NHL in goals, eclipsing the 30-goal mark for the third straight season.
The former Cornell University Big Red Bear collected 138 points (71-67=138) in 134 games during four collegiate seasons (2002-06). He was named to the ECAC First All-Star Team in 2005, the NCAA East Second All-American Team in 2005 and the ECAC Second All-Star Team in 2006. In a State of Hockey fans might remember Moulson from the 2005 NCAA Regional Finals at Mariucci Arena as the Big Red Bears lost to the University of Minnesota 2-1 in overtime.
In his NHL debut, he scored for Los Angeles on Nov. 2, 2007 at San Jose, and was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the ninth round (263rd overall) in 2003. Moulson is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
McCormick, 30, has five points (1-4=5), 60 hits and 45 penalty minutes (PIM) in 29 games with Buffalo this season. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound native of London, Ont., will bring grit and depth to the organization. He has notched 59 points (19-40=59) and 503 PIM in 358 career NHL games in nine seasons with Colorado and Buffalo. He owns four points (1-3=4) and 23 PIM in 14 career playoff games. McCormick made his NHL debut against St. Louis on Oct. 12, 2003, recorded his first NHL point with an assist at Minnesota on Oct. 16, 2003 and tallied his first career NHL goal against Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2003. He was originally selected by Colorado in the fifth round (144th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Mitchell, 29, notched 17 points (5-12=17) and 42 PIM in 103 games with Minnesota after being signed as a free agent on July 1, 2012.
It’s the second-consecutive season the Wild has made a deal with Buffalo. Minnesota acquired Jason Pominville from the Sabres along with a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft in exchange for F Johan Larsson, G Matt Hackett, a first-round pick in 2013 and a second-round pick in 2014 on April 3, 2013. The Wild dealt the fourth-round pick from Buffalo to Edmonton yesterday in exchange for Ilya Bryzgalov.