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Despite ‘tough season for all of us to watch,’ Sabres won’t buy out Moulson


James OBrien

Matt Moulson’s struggles this season were well-documented.

There was a career-worst goalscoring slump, a healthy scratch and prodding from Sabres GM Tim Murray for Moulson to get in better shape.

All this led to an inevitable discussion -- with three years left on his five-year, $25 million deal, would Moulson be bought out?

On Monday, Murray said no.

“I had a long talk with him,” Murray explained, per the Buffalo News. “He knows that he has to work hard this offseason. He’s very disappointed in himself, his own season. It was a tough season for him.

“It was a tough season for all of us to watch. Hopefully, he can regroup and come back next year and be better. That’s up to him.”

A three-time 30-goal scorer, Moulson finished this season with just eight in 81 games. That low output looks even worse when you consider the 32-year-old actually started the year reasonably well -- three goals and five points in his first 10 games -- before literally falling off a cliff, production-wise.

Buffalo’s logic for keeping Moulson around is probably twofold. One, the organization can use this season -- and Murray’s remarks -- as a motivational tool (and a no-so-subtle suggestion this could be Moulson’s last chance).

Two, the club likely values the mentoring of rookie sensation Jack Eichel. Eichel lived with Moulson this season, and said he valued the opportunity to “pick [Moulson’s] brain” about life as an NHL player.