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Isles' Moulson vows not to let contract situation bother him

Islanders left wing Matt Moulson skates during training

Islanders left wing Matt Moulson skates during training camp at IceWorks in Syosset. (Sept. 13, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Matt Moulson spoke on Friday about playing in Barclays Center for the first time, with Saturday's preseason game against the Devils on tap.

The big question for Moulson, unlike most of his core Islanders teammates: Will he be in Brooklyn when the Islanders move there permanently?

Moulson enters this season tied for 22nd on the Isles' career goals list with 112. He's also entering the final season of a three-year, $9.4 million deal, one of the very few Isles long-timers who isn't locked up for years to come.

Even though he's tied with linemate John Tavares for the most goals among current Islanders, the 29-year-old Moulson isn't that far removed from his days as a young player on a series of one-year, two-way deals, so this is not new territory for him.

"It's not going to affect the way I play," Moulson said. "I'm going to play the same way, try to get better. Every single year, you want to have a career year for yourself, no matter what year of your contract that you're in. I'm just going to do what I can to help this team win and hopefully things will work themselves out."

Moulson has thrived as Tavares' near-permanent wing man since 2009-10, producing 214 points, among the 40 top NHL scorers over that span. Some might view him as a player who needs a star like Tavares to get him going, but there would be no shortage of teams wanting to sign a three-time 30-goal scorer should he hit the open market on July 1.

There have been no talks yet between Newport Sports, Moulson's agency, and Isles GM Garth Snow; that may change as the season goes on, but negotiations could wait until the season is over.

After coming into the league as a ninth-round pick of the Penguins and yo-yoing in and out of the Kings lineup, Moulson is taking this big year in stride. He's also looking forward to Saturday in Brooklyn and the rest of the year in Uniondale.

"As loud as this place can be, how much fun it is to play here, all the history, it's a special place," Moulson said of Nassau Coliseum. "On the opposite end of the spectrum, it will be nice to play in a state of the art facility. Knowing it's right there in Brooklyn, not too far away, is great, too. We owe it to our fans here on Long Island to finish up our time here with some big moments."

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