Wild, Pominville ‘going back and forth’ about contract extension

7 Comments

Minnesota acquired Jason Pominville at last year’s deadline knowing it wasn’t a rental situation, but something more long term.

Now the two sides are discussing how long term it’ll be.

“They’ve talked a few times for sure and are going back and forth about what the plans are,” Pominville told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “We’ll just go day by day and see if both sides can make progress and go from there.”

Pominville, 30, is in the final year of a five-year, $26.5 million deal that carries an average annual cap hit of $5.3 million (Buffalo did retain some of his cap hit, so the Wild are only on the hook for $4.505 million this year).

Considering the Wild gave up first- and second-round picks, Johan Larsson and Matt Hackett in the trade, it’s not surprising they’d like to keep Pominville around past this year.

It’s also not surprising to hear Pominville wants to stick with a team that gave up so much to get him.

“They committed to getting me, so just that means a lot to me and being part of a group that is committed to having success and being in a city that loves hockey, that makes it even better,” he explained. “I want to stay and be part of what they’re building.”

Will be interesting to learn where the two sides sit on terms and financial compensation.

Minnesota won’t have a ton of pressing free agent issues this offseason (Dany Heatley is probably the biggest one next to Pominville), but will have RFAs Nino Niederreiter and Darcy Kuemper to deal with.

That said, the club will likely have some big decisions in 2015-16 when a trio of its coveted young talents — Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Jonas Brodin — all become restricted.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

1 Comment

For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

1 Comment

The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
1 Comment

If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

2 Comments

It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.