NEW YORK -- Less than a week after having his world turned upside down by a stunning early-season trade that sent him to Buffalo, former Islander Matt Moulson had a chance to check back in with his family on Long Island.
Back in the Big Apple for the Sabres' match against the Rangers, Moulson got to see his wife, Alicia; 14-month-old daughter Mila; and newborn son George on Wednesday night. The Moulsons also had a familiar houseguest pay a visit: John Tavares.
"It was almost like saying goodbye again," Moulson said jokingly. "It was sad all over again."
Moulson, who turns 30 on Nov. 1, said he knew a trade was possible but believed in his heart things would work out with the Islanders. He said it was tough to part with teammates and friends such as Tavares and Kyle Okposo (both players are godfathers to Moulson's children), but that the Sabres have been tremendous in making the transition smooth. Plenty of his new teammates' wives have offered to help; team owner Terry Pegula's wife, Kim, even reached out.
The plan is for his brood to decamp to their home in Connecticut until baby George is able to fly, after which they'll join him in Buffalo.
"Having to pick up and move your life isn't easy, but other people have obviously done it many times before," Moulson said. "As gut-wrenching as it was, you get over it pretty quickly."
Moulson indeed seemed to acclimate to his new team seamlessly, appearing in Buffalo's game against Dallas just one night after the trade and notching two goals in his Sabres' debut. He now has eight goals and 11 points.
"If I would've thrown up a stinker, it would've been a lot tougher," he said.
Given Buffalo's last-place spot in the standings, there is plenty of speculation as to how long he will be a Sabre. General manager Darcy Regier got an excellent return for Thomas Vanek -- two high draft picks were also included in the deal -- and may be looking to flip Moulson again as the trade deadline nears and suitors come calling.
Moulson's gritty, goal-scoring ability makes him a prime candidate for trade rumors, and he knows that won't die down anytime soon.
"That's something that everyone's brought up to me -- no one within the organization -- but obviously a lot of media questions about it. I think it's a similar attitude as I had with the Islanders. I didn't have a contract past this year and I always said, 'Take it day by day and make sure I'm getting better and doing whatever I can to help the team win.' "
"If it's for a couple months, a year, a couple years, I don't think my game style is going to change at all," Moulson said. "I'm going to go out there and try to score goals and help this team win."