HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears announced they have re-signed captain Matt Moulson to a one-year AHL contract for the 2021-22 season. The 37-year-old veteran forward will return for his third straight season in Hershey, continuing the high hopes for the team’s season. Moulson was named the team’s 44th captain in franchise history prior to the start of the 2021 season, the first to wear the honor since Garrett Mitchell during the 2017-18 season. He finished second on the team in scoring during the 2021 season, playing in all 33 games and tallying 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists).
There’s a sense of unfinished business for Moulson and the Bears. The Bears signed Moulson prior to the start of the 2019-20 season and so far in his tenure in Hershey, the veteran forward has been unable to compete for a Calder Cup, something that was left on the table during exit interviews with the team in 2021.
“I absolutely love this organization,” Moulson said. “I said I came here to win a Calder (Cup) and I still haven’t had a chance for that, but hopefully we’ll have another one.”
It was a vague answer that left the door open for a third season, and the 2021-22 season marks a big opportunity for Moulson to lead the Bears to a championship title that has been in the works for a few seasons. Moulson has not won a championship during his illustrious career, and the Bears are looking to bring the Calder Cup back to Hershey for the first time in over a decade, so it’s safe to say the goal is mutual between the two.
An icon. A leader. A pure scorer. A legend. Our captain @MMoulson has had an illustrious career.
(wait for it) pic.twitter.com/ewM6iwm9rM
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 27, 2021
Moulson’s presence over the past few seasons has been huge for Hershey. A proven leader on and off the ice, Moulson has been an asset on the power play and combined for success on the unit with Connor McMichael on the team’s top unit. Moulson and McMichael combined for 12 power-play goals, evenly split between the two, accounting for half of Hershey’s 24 tallies on the man advantage this past season, and it’s safe to say the pair will be counted on to provide that edge for the Bears this season. Two of Moulson’s goals were game-winners in 2021 along with three the year prior, including this one against Wilkes-Barre back on March 28.
Matt Moulson pushes the puck past Legace on the power play! pic.twitter.com/aV8EWwE2Gi
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) March 28, 2021
Moulson appeared in his 400th AHL contest on May 16 in Hershey’s season finale, a game where he also tallied a goal, in addition to 650 NHL contests over his career. His great play this past season was one of many factors which led Hershey to a regular season AHL title, collecting as many accolades as possible during the shortened season. Moulson’s presence is invaluable to Hershey’s young players, who benefit from his experience and veteran leadership, and should go a long way towards success in addition to players like veteran Cody Franson, who adds to the team’s experienced core.
One irregularity to keep in mind with Moulson’s return is that he won’t get to suit up for Hershey’s season-opening game, but will be able to play in October 17th’s game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Moulson received a one-game suspension in Hershey’s season finale versus Wilkes-Barre in an altercation with Billy Sweezy. It’ll be full steam ahead for Moulson and the Bears to have a particularly important season in 2021-22 with a lot of high hopes surrounding the team, and having Moulson back is one more important piece of the puzzle to that end.
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