The 2015-16 season has left much to be desired from Matt Moulson.
The Buffalo Sabres' forward has just five goals and 15 points in 64 games, including one in his last 52 appearances.
The 32-year-old been largely ineffective for the Sabres this season, and you had to wonder if it was simply a confidence issue plaguing Moulson.
Well Sabres' general manager Tim Murray called out Moulson on Saturday, stating that he may have not been in game shape in recent months.
"I see a player that maybe has neglected some things in the last couple years as far as how workouts are changing, how we as an organization are changing with our young players and even our players on the team," Murray said on WGR 550-AM Radio, according to John Vogl of Buffalo News.
"He's sat up through some tough conversations. He's sat up and taken notice, and I would say in the last five to six weeks he has been our hardest-working guy after games in the gym."
This season is totally out of character for Moulson, who managed to hit the 30-goal mark in three straight seasons from 2010 to 2012. He has not looked or played like the productive forward he knows he can be.
"I just think it was a case of, I kind of lost my confidence and building that back up by the way I'm working," said Moulson. "I don't think my workouts have really changed. I've taken my off-ice performances pretty seriously my entire life.
"Obviously, (it's) not the way I wanted it to go," said Moulson. "You want to help your team win and contribute. You always want to do that. I think for anyone that likes scoring goals you want to have more of them."
It appears the Sabres have considered Moulson's current season a wash, and are looking forward to getting the Matt Moulson they are used to back next season.
"The long-term goal is to have him better and able to produce starting next September in training camp, but it has started now," said Murray. "The extra work has started now. We know it won't pay off, like I say, tomorrow, but I fully expect he'll come back better next year.
"I don't expect to see a drastically different (player) but I expect to see a different, more competitive Matt Moulson next season."
This is certainly tough love from GM Tim Murray, as no player likes to have their work ethic criticized publicly.
Images Courtesy of Keystone Press