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Vanek joins New York Islanders after being traded away by rebuilding Buffalo Sabres

  • 726d30e855157224410f6a7067004cc4.jpg

    File - This Feb. 23, 2013 file photo shows Buffalo Sabres' left winger Thomas Vanek (26), of Austria, eyeing the puck with New York Islanders' defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, (11) of the Czech Republic, and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov (20), of Russia, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y. The New York Islanders announced Sunday Oct. 27, 2013, that they have acquired Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first round selection in the 2014 NHL draft and a second round selection in 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)The Associated Press

  • f47d611b550e7224410f6a7067001491.jpg

    File- This Feb. 23, 2013 file photo shows Buffalo Sabres' left winger Thomas Vanek (26), of Austria, getting ready to deflect the puck in front of New York Islanders' goaltender Evgeni Nabokov (20), of Russia, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., The New York Islanders announced Sunday Oct. 27, 2013, that they have acquired Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first round selection in the 2014 NHL draft and a second round selection in 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)The Associated Press

Thomas Vanek knew a trade from the Buffalo Sabres was likely. He just didn't expect to be shipped off to the New York Islanders this early in the season.

From one rebuild to another for the prolific goal scorer.

Vanek joined the Islanders on Monday morning just hours after the deal that sent him to Long Island for forward Matt Moulson and a pair of draft picks.

Vanek and Moulson, who are both 29, can become unrestricted free agents after this season.

Vanek, who has four goals and five assists this season, has scored 40 goals twice and was an All-Star in 2009. Moulson had six goals and three assists in 11 games with New York this season.