This afternoon WGR out of Buffalo reported that the Sabres had signed RW sniper Jason Pominville to a 5 year extension, less than a day before the deadline imposed by Pominville himself on negotiations earlier this week. The 26 year old former 2nd round pick signed a 5 year, $26.5 million contract, in four of which he would ahve been an Unrestricted Free Agent. Given that he's been putting up nearly a point per game making a little over $1million per season, he might have been the best deal in the league.
His interview from this afternoon with Schopp and the Bulldog is here.
Again, as with the recent signings of Ryan Miller, Paul Gaustad and Daniel Paille, GM Darth Regier has stuck to his plan of locking up the talent that this team has grown from within, especially that core of guys who were so succesful together when they played at Rochester of the AHL.
Getting Poms signed to an extension was nearly as much of a priority for this off-season as getting Miller signed. Aside from his being a natural goal-scorer with a deft touch, he kills penalties and is capable of running the point on the Power Play and is defensively responsible enough for that to not be a great liability.
Most importantly, it's his chemistry with Jochen Hecht and abiltiy to both set up (53 assists last season) and score big goals (See the series clincher against Ottawa in the 2006 playoffs) that makes his place on the Sabres so imjportant. He dispelled any questions as to his worth last season by putting up solid numbers without Danny Briere as his center.
With a bevy of uninspiring RW's on the roster coming into this year's camp, his consistency and work ethic are important traits to emulate for the kids like Nathan Gerbe, Drew Stafford and Marek Zagrapan as they fight for roster spots beginning tomorrow when camp opens.
In the HFBoards thread on the signing, poster LoveDaSlug brought up the following comparisons:
Looking at other forward deals done this offseason:
Horcoff 6 yr, 5.5 M per extension (53-21-29-50)
Huselius 4 yr, 4.75 M per (81-25-41-66)
Malone 7 yr, 4.5 M per (77-27-24-51)
Erat 7 yr, 4.5 M per (23-34-57)
Pominville's deal looks great using those as comparisons.
Indeed it does.