Halfway into his second season with the Islanders, top-line winger Matt Moulson Sunday said he wants to be a part of the organization's future.
"I personally love it here. I love the guys, I like the way the organization treats us and I like the direction we're heading. We have a good group of guys, and that's the key. Everyone wants to win with each other, and I don't know if you find that too often in professional sports," said Moulson, who has 14 goals and 12 assists in 43 games for the Islanders this season. "Over the past two years, I've made some good friendships with guys and I want to be part of this team moving forward to where we'll be a playoff-contending team every year."
Though Moulson is not considered immovable - he certainly will garner interest from playoff-contending teams looking to add another goal-scoring winger - it is believed that general manager Garth Snow will try to sign him to a multiyear deal before the deadline. According to one source, Snow and Moulson's agent have had an initial discussion about the matter within the past week.
Moulson, who narrowly avoided arbitration this past summer when the Islanders and his agent agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.45 million at the 11th hour, becomes an unrestricted free agent this July.
"That's something I'd probably have to sit down and talk about with my agent," Moulson said when asked if he'd like to have his contract resolved sooner rather than later. "That's why we pay the agents the big bucks to deal with it. He'll talk to Garth about what's best and I'm sure they'll figure that out. I just want to worry about making a miracle comeback and getting us to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Whether I'm in a contract year or not, I want to score and I want to win."
Moulson broke out last season, scoring 30 goals as a key member of the team's top line and power-play unit alongside good friend and teammate John Tavares. That opportunity, which came after three seasons in the L.A. Kings system during which he played 29 NHL games, was part of what lured him to Long Island. But what has influenced his desire to stay goes beyond that.
"My loyalty to this team is pretty much because I like playing here,'' he said. "I was very fortunate to get a shot with the Islanders. Maybe why I like it here so much is because of how they treated me and the type of opportunity that I got, but I think I'm loyal for a lot more reasons than that."
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