Matt Moulson of the Islanders celebrates his third-period goal against the...

Matt Moulson of the Islanders celebrates his third-period goal against the Jets at Nassau Coliseum on April 2, 2013. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Matt Moulson remembers Thomas Hickey as a fresh-faced teenager when Hickey joined Moulson on the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the AHL in 2008-09.

On Wednesday night, the skate will be on the other foot.

Moulson is set to join Hickey as a studio analyst for MSG Networks’ coverage of the Flyers-Islanders game at UBS Arena, his first TV analysis work of any kind.

“I’m a first-time rookie; hopefully ‘Hicks’ can take me under his wing,” Moulson, a former Islanders forward, told Newsday.

Will he be nervous?

“I got nervous when I played and I was 38 years old,” he said, laughing. “I think I'll be a little nervous. But people who know me know I like to talk. Once I get going, I think I'll be good to go.”

Moulson, who recently turned 40, retired from playing after having his 2021-22 season cut short by emergency back surgery while playing for the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

There have been no regrets about that decision.

“No, because I think I was done,” he said. “I gave all I had to it. It was time for the next chapter in my life.”

Last season he scouted for the Maple Leafs, but this season he has focused on co-coaching his 10-year-old son’s youth hockey team with his brother-in-law. (Another of Moulson’s brothers-in-law, Jonathan Quick, is a goaltender for the Rangers. Quick also played with Moulson and Hickey in Manchester in ’08-09.)

The idea to dabble in media came from Kimber Auerbach, the Islanders’ vice president of communications, who thought Moulson would be good at it.

“He probably has more confidence in me than I do in myself,” Moulson said.

But he was game to give it a try. He is expected to work four or five games, with the others set for after Jan. 1.

“It’s just something that intrigued me,” Moulson said. “Obviously, I still have a big place in my heart for the Islanders.

“So I thought it would be something new, something fun to do, and hopefully I can bring something to the table here.”

Moulson played parts of five seasons for the Islanders starting in 2009-10, the first of three consecutive seasons with at least 30 goals.

He was a consistent fan favorite during his years with the team and had a bond on and off the ice with John Tavares, the team’s biggest star of that era.

“The first thing I remember is how close our team was and how much I loved playing there,” Moulson said. “Obviously, it helps when you spend time in a place with your best years professionally in the league.

“But I just loved playing for the Islanders, the support they had for us, had a chance to meet lot of great people with the organization and part of the fan base and all around the team, the alumni. So it was nothing but positivity.”

Moulson, who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, brings his son to games at UBS Arena, a venue he wishes he could have played.

“I absolutely loved the [Nassau] Coliseum,” he said. “When it was full for that first playoff game [in 2013], I think it was the most electric building I've ever seen to date.

“But I would have gladly, I think, traded that for UBS Arena, because it’s pretty spectacular.”

Moulson spent parts of 11 NHL seasons with four teams, playing in 650 games, scoring 176 goals and assisting on 193 others. But he is most associated with the Islanders. 

Among his many Islanders friends past and present is Cal Clutterbuck, whose 1,000th career game will coincide with Moulson’s first behind the microphone.

“That’ll be fun,” said Clutterbuck, whom Moulson recently texted with the news. “That’ll be great to have him and Hicks, too. Between the two of them, it’ll be a lot of fun.”

How does Clutterbuck think Moulson will do as a broadcaster? “He’s a pretty sharp guy,” Clutterbuck said. “He knows the game very, very well. So he’ll be all right.”

Moulson is such an Islander, he found it odd being in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12 when the Rangers hosted the Blue Jackets . . . and rooting for the home team.

That was because Quick was in goal. The Rangers won, 4-3, in a shootout.

“That game was my first time ever supporting the Rangers,” he said. “So that was a new one for me.”

Quick and Moulson are married to sisters whose father is former Ranger Mike Backman. Quick’s son plays on the team coached by Moulson. So the family’s hockey connections run deep.

Moulson’s alma mater, Cornell, has a history of producing hockey TV analysts, notably including Ken Dryden, who was in the booth with Al Michaels to call the 1980 Winter Olympics tournament.

But Moulson is just experimenting for now.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “They might boot me off after one [game].” With Denis P. Gorman

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