During the waning hours (and minutes) of the NHL trade deadline, the Buffalo Sabres struck a deal to trade their captain and right winger Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick in 2014 to the Minnesota Wild. In return, Buffalo receives goaltender Matt Hackett, left winger Johan Larsson, a first-round pick in 2013 and a second-round pick in 2014. This deal is under the condition that the players pass physical examinations by the respective teams.
Pominville was drafted by the Sabres in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft. He has been a consistent scorer for the Sabres, topping out at 34 goals and 68 points in 2006-2007. Besides his rookie year, Pominville has never scored less than 20 goals in a season. In 2011, he was named the 13th captain in franchise history, replacing Craig Rivet with that honor.
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has bolstered his club for the playoff push. Minnesota is currently leading the Northwest Division, just ahead of Vancouver by two wins, although both teams are tied with 44 points. With this latest deal, the Wild add a bit more star power to an already impressive roster.
Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier has signaled that a rebuild is in the near future for his club. The Sabres are currently sitting in 12th place in the Eastern Conference and look to be all but out of the playoff picture. Bringing in Larsson and Hackett will help shape the future of the Sabres while saving cap space. Pominville has one more year left on a five-year, $26.5 million contract.