According to TSN's Bob McKenzie as part of Sunday's trade that sent Thomas Vanek to the Islanders, the Sabres retained part of Vanek's salary as part of the deal. McKenzie estimates it to be about "20% of Vanek's remaning salary" for this season, which amounts to "approx $1.4 million."Crunching the numbers, this means that the Islanders gave up the remaining ~$3.4 million of Moulson's salary. Moulson was due $3.9 million this year and was paid about $500k for the 10 games he spent on Long Island.Vanek, on the other hand, was due $6.4 million in actual salary this year with roughly $1 million already paid out this season. That means the Islanders would be on the hook for $5.4 million of his salary the rest of the way. However, factoring in McKenzie's report that Buffalo is eating $1.4 million of that means the Islanders are on the hook for as little as $4 million.
Thus, the salaries for Vanek and Moulson paid out for the rest of the year by the Islanders would be approximately equal; $3.9 million to Moulson had they kept him and now $4 million to Vanek. The Islanders salary obligations are basically the same as they would have been had the trade not occurred despite Vanek's larger salary.Actually, I used the wrong numbers there. So, the Islanders would have owed Moulson $3.4 million if they kept him compared to $4 million with Vanek currently. So that's a salary increase in the neighborhood of $600,000.Alternatively, Sports Net reports that the Islanders did see a $1.4 million increase in salary in the deal, even after factoring in the retained salary. They did not explain how they got to that figure.[sny-box]New York is among the lowest spenders in the NHL and may have needed part of Vanek’s salary to be held back in order to remain under an internal budget. After all, they still added money in this transaction with Vanek due about $1.4-million more than Moulson this season even with the retained salary factored in. It wasn’t publicly disclosed that the Sabres were keeping nearly a fifth of Vanek’s salary when the trade was announced Sunday night. It also didn’t come up when either GM subsequently met the media. In summing-up the deal, Garth Snow told reporters on Long Island that “we paid a price to get a quality player.”[/sny-box]