Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 4, 2013

Sabres send Pominville to Wild for prospects, picks

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The Wild also acquired goalie Jeff Deslauriers from Anaheim for future considerations and assigned him to Houston, then recalled goalie Darcy Kuemper from the AHL club to be Niklas Backstrom’s backup against the Sharks.

“He’s like a few other players we have on our team like Parise and Koivu and Suter and Backstrom in that he’s a top-line player, but he has a workmanlike mentality,” Fletcher said.

Hackett and Larsson will be sent to Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. The 23-year-old Hackett was a third-round pick in 2009. He has 13 career NHL starts. The 20-year-old Larsson was a second-round pick in 2010. He played in one game last season for the Wild.

The underachieving Sabres are retooling for the future after making four trades in the last three weeks, including defensemen Robyn Regehr to Los Angeles and Jordan Leopold to St. Louis over the past five days. Longtime coach Lindy Ruff was fired after a 6-10-1 start, and the Sabres were in 12th place in the Eastern Conference when Wednesday began despite ending Pittsburgh’s 15-game winning streak the day before.

Regier said he wouldn’t use the “r-word” but acknowledged the beginning of a “process” to retool this sputtering team. High draft picks are good way to start.

Regier said he and Fletcher were discussing a different player when Fletcher told him he wanted to focus on Pominville. Regier called the decision “difficult” to trade such an integral piece of the team.

“It’s no fun being where we are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan or in my position. There’s no enjoyment out of it, but there is an opportunity,” Regier said. “And what we’re going to do is seize on the opportunity.”

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