Pominville, meanwhile, is starting to consider his European options a little more. Insurance, he said, is a big issue. He also wants to go somewhere he can take his wife and two children.
“If I can get good skates here, I might stick around for a little bit,” Pominville said. “I might eventually start thinking about heading over there if you can get insured.”
Leino said his agent has been working on a deal. Sweden or Switzerland could be an option for the Finn.
Forward Matt Ellis is using the extra free time to coach his 5-year-old son Hayden’s hockey team, an experience he calls “kind of cool.”
“It kind of throws you back to when you were a kid, the car rides to the rink, the car rides from the rink,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it. It’s nice to see a smile on my son’s face whenever he straps the skates on.”
Still, playing in Europe is “on my mind daily,” Ellis said.
“I don’t think anyone knows what the right thing to do is, what the wrong thing to do is,” he said. “But (I’m) trying to see what’s out there anyways, option-wise. I’d like to be out there playing. I know as each day goes by we’re getting hungrier and hungrier to play.”
The Amerks play their first exhibition game Tuesday. They open the on-ice portion of camp Friday in Buffalo at the First Niagara Center.
“I’m excited (to) get some serious hockey going,” said Amerks center Cody Hodgson, an NHL regular only back in the minors because of the lockout.
The young stars NHL teams have assigned – Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner are all in the AHL – should make the league entertaining.
“It’s going to be a really good league, a lot of good, young players down there,” Hodgson said. “We’re going to have a really good team, a lot of guys with NHL experience.”