Could the Minnesota Wild be making a big deadline push?
That appears to be the case, according to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, who reports the Wild have contacted Buffalo about captain Jason Pominville.
From the Star-Tribune:
The Wild is making calls and I do hear it is one of many teams that has been talking to Buffalo the past few days about captain Jason Pominville.
I know the Wild has scouted Buffalo recently, too.
Russo also notes that of the eight teams Pominville said he would not accept a trade to, Minnesota is not one of them.
So, technically, the Wild are in play.
What remains to be seen, however, is if the Wild are willing to 1) part with assets and 2) take on Pominville’s deal. The 30-year-old forward has this and next season left on his five-year, $26.5 million contract, and carries an annual cap hit of $5.3 million.
According to Capgeek, the Wild have 16 players under contract for $51 million next season — with the cap ceiling dropping to $64.3 million — but still have some big decisions to make regarding pending UFAs like Niklas Backstrom, Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.
“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.
“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”
While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.
“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”
Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?
News and notes from around the crease…
Jones goes for San Jose
Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.
Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.
For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.
Markstrom out for Vancouver
Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.
Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.
For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.
Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier
Rangers at ‘Hawks: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Crawford