Niagara Gazette —
After signing Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to mega-contracts last summer, the Wild went all in. They’ve been accumulating an impressive pool of young skaters in their system, so trading Larsson won’t leave their organization bare. Rookies Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker have been top-six forwards this season, and Mikael Granlund is waiting in the AHL in Houston for a second crack at the lineup.
“It just gives you a sense that they believe in the way we’ve been playing and they believe in our team,” Parise said in San Jose. “Now it’s up to us to elevate our game even more.”
Pominville is in the second-to-last year of his contract, with a $5.5 million salary each season. The 30-year-old right wing, a second-round draft pick by Buffalo in 2001, had 25 points including 10 goals in 27 games for the Sabres this season. He’s sixth in the NHL with 33 takeaways and 11th in the league with an average of 20 minutes and 53 seconds of ice time per game.
He was picked for the All-Star game last year.
“Players like Jason aren’t readily available, and that’s why we paid a significant price in terms of assets in acquiring him,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said in San Jose. “Obviously, Buffalo felt they needed to move in a different direction, and when I spoke to Darcy and found out he might be available we were aggressive in our pursuit.”
The Wild play at Los Angeles on Thursday, and Fletcher said the team will try to have Pominville at the arena for the game against the Kings. Whether he’s in the lineup after the cross-country trip has yet to be determined. But whenever he debuts, the Wild will be eager to have him. They’re in third place in the Western Conference, with 3½ weeks remaining in the regular season.