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Next Question: Vanek trade fallout

Updated: October 28, 2013, 11:16 AM ET
By Craig Custance

There's a phrase Al Arbour used on a young Darcy Regier whenever Regier made assumptions or thought he knew more than he actually did. "'Not so fast, Kowalski,'" Regier said when we chatted this summer. "Al Arbour used to say it to me all the time."

Regier provided a not-so-fast-Kowalski moment Sunday evening.

The assumption around hockey was that he'd trade Thomas Vanek closer to the trade deadline, when playoff contenders would have more flexibility to squeeze Vanek's $7.1 million cap hit onto their team. And the most-rumored destination was the Minnesota Wild, a team that could use some additional scoring and a state in which Vanek is very familiar.

Not so fast, Kowalski.

The Islanders and Sabres pulled off the first blockbuster of the season, sending Vanek to Long Island for Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-rounder in 2014. And even Vanek, whose name has circulated in trade rumors more than any other forward, was surprised by it.

"I think he was shocked," Regier said during his post-trade news conference. "He was very professional. I thanked him, he was good. He was as good as he can be."

And if he was shocked, imagine Moulson's reaction. He's close friends with the Islanders franchise player, John Tavares, and he had six goals in 11 games for a team expected to make a playoff push this year. Yes, his contract is up after this season and there were no extension talks at the time of the deal, but he was surprised as well.

Each Monday, we look at the news of the weekend and spin it forward by addressing the next question created by those developments. Following this trade, there are plenty of them.

Next Question: Will the Islanders be able to convince Vanek to stay beyond this season?

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