DENVER – Sabres winger Matt Moulson has cleared waivers but will not be going to Rochester. Instead, the Sabres have worked a loan arrangement with the Los Angeles Kings to reassign Moulson to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.
"Matt has been a true professional, especially during this difficult decision," General Manager Jason Botterill said in a statement issued by the team. "Matt has previously spent time within the Kings organization early in his career and we felt this would be the best opportunity for him. From an organizational standpoint, we felt that with our young forwards in place in Rochester, we did not want to take away from their development and ice time by adding another veteran player at this time.”
It became clear the Sabres were working a move for Moulson when coach Phil Housley was asked about the 34-year-old's potential contribution in Rochester after today's morning skate in Denver.
Said a cryptic Housley: "I think Jason and his agent are working on some options right now. But that's as much as I know at this point."
Moulson played for the Kings and their AHL affiliate in Manchester, N.H., for three seasons from 2006-2009. Moulson's brother-in-law is longtime Kings goalie Jonathan Quick; Moulson's wife, Alicia, and Quick's wife, Jaclyn, are sisters.
Teams claiming Moulson off waivers would have been on the hook for the rest of his $5 million salary for this year and next season and there were no takers. Moulson, who had no points in 14 games for Buffalo this season, counts $3.975 million against the Sabres' salary cap for the rest of the season by playing in the AHL.
Under terms of the 2013 collective bargaining agreement, a team sending a player to the minors gets limited cap relief and can no longer bury a player's full salary like the New York Rangers famously did with defenseman Wade Redden in 2010. Moulson was making $5 million this year and his contract runs through next season, making him a possible buyout candidate come June.