Jason Pominville talks with some old friends this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must make roster move; Jason Pominville returns with Wild

BUFFALO – Defenseman Henrik Tallinder will return tonight against popular former Sabres captain Jason Pominville and the Minnesota Wild following a four-game absence.

With Tallinder (upper body) back from injured reserve, either rookie Rasmus Ristolainen or Alexander Sulzer, the spare defenders this morning, will be sent to Rochester, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.

Update: Sulzer has been assigned to the AHL.

Meanwhile, backup goalie Jhonas Enroth will make his third start for the winless Sabres ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played 578 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville set to make Buffalo return with Wild

BUFFALO – They became the rebuilding Sabres around 4 p.m. on April 3.

In trading versatile captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild for draft picks and prospects that day, the Sabres signaled they had given up on the present and started looking to the future.

Six months later, with the former franchise cornerstone returning tonight to the First Niagara Center, the winless Sabres (0-5-1) are a mess, probably the NHL’s worst team.

Another loss ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett played well during his three seasons in Houston. ©2013, PhotoGraphics Photography, AHL

Goalie prospect Matt Hackett upbeat about future with Sabres

BUFFALO – Matt Hackett figured the Minnesota Wild would eventually trade a goaltending prospect. The team possessed two similar youngsters in the 23-year-old Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

With Niklas Backstrom entrenched as the upstart Wild’s No. 1 goalie, there simply wasn’t room for everyone.

Still, when the Wild yanked him from the ice during the team’s morning skate Wednesday, Hackett “was pretty shocked,” he said.

“It just caught me off guard, I guess,” Hackett said ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek drove Jason Pominville to the airport Thursday morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know Jason Pominville’s departure could be first major move

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier’s strong words stuck with Thomas Vanek. Prior to Saturday, the general manager had never publicly made any of his Sabres available to other teams during his long tenure. At that point, four days before trade deadline, the slick winger knew major changes could hit the Sabres.

Sure enough, Regier dealt captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday for two prospects and two draft picks.

It could just be the ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played his first game with the Wild on Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Pominville calls trade from Sabres ‘a shock,’ makes Wild debut

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville felt his 11-year run with the Sabres organization could be ending. Before Wednesday’s trade deadline, the struggling team asked its captain to submit a list of eight clubs he could refuse a trade to. The Sabres, a colossal disappointment this season, seemed ripe for a major shakeup.

Still, when Sabres general manager Darcy Regier called Wednesday and said he had been traded to Minnesota, the star winger was shocked.

“It’s still ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek wants to talk to management. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Close friends sad to see Pominville leave Sabres; Vanek unsure about future

BUFFALO – After trading captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild, general manager Darcy Regier said the Sabres’ reconstruction could take some time.

Slick winger Thomas Vanek recently said he “would probably look in the other direction” if the Sabres had a two- or three-year plan.

So, did Wednesday’s deal, coupled with earlier trades of defensemen Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr, change Vanek’s mind?

“Probably, I mean, obviously we gave up three good players ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville became a Sabres regular in 2005-06. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres thinking long-term after trading captain Pominville to Wild

BUFFALO – Instead of trading captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild before the deadline Wednesday, the 13th-place Sabres could’ve tried staying in the playoff chase and acquiring another player to make a run at eighth place, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the Sabres, whose owner, Terry Pegula, has spent tens of millions of dollars pursuing his championship dream, no longer embrace that kind of philosophy.

They’ve started thinking long-term.

“The preference ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played 578 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shift focus to future after trading Pominville to Wild

BUFFALO – The Minnesota Wild first asked the Sabres about star winger Jason Pominville three weeks ago, general manager Darcy Regier.

When the Wild’s interest diminished, Regier still approached his captain for a list of eight teams he could refuse a trade to. Regier said he had “no real interest” in trading Pominville, although he wanted to keep his options open.

Then, Tuesday night, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, who had been talking with Regier ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville will reportedly leave the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres trade captain Pominville to Wild

BUFFALO – RDS is reporting the Sabres traded captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild this afternoon.

It’s believed winger Johan Larsson and goalie Matt Hackett are coming back to the Sabres.

Pominville said Tuesday in Pittsburgh he understood he could get dealt.

“I understand the business of things,” Pominville said. “I understand (general manager) Darcy (Regier) has a job to do, and he’s trying to do his best to do what’s best for the ... Read the full article

Scorching Sabres down Wild, roar into eighth place

BUFFALO – Beaten down, broken and seemingly finished at several points this season, the Sabres’ tight 3-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday – their 18th win in 28 tries – bumped the scorching club into the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

On Feb. 17, the Sabres fell into the cellar, nine points out of the last postseason spot.

If the Sabres, who lead ninth-place Washington by two points (84-82), hold on, the ... Read the full article