This shouldn't come as a surprise that Minnesota and forward Jason Pominville are engaged in talks regarding a contract extension; when a team is willing to shovel over a boatload of assets for a player of Pominville's ilk, ideally you want to retain the player for a longer term. Pominville came to Minnesota with one year left on his current contract, which carries at 4.505 million dollar cap hit (even though he's due 5.5 million, according to Capgeek.)
So does he deserve roughly the same deal he got in Buffalo (five years, 26.5 mil)?
Here's what he brings; a veteran presence on an increasingly younger forward core, leadership qualities, and Pominville is one of the league's best "Do It All" forwards according to Stats Wonk Rob Vollman. There's a history of durability and production there, and has seven straight 20 goal seasons (if you pro rate the lockout year.) He's capable of playing the point on the power play, giving the Wild a big shot (for once) from the blueline. He'll provide a safety blanket for the younger guys on the lineup, and his style of play suits the system well. Also, speaking of younger guys, his presence on the roster doesn't stand to block the path of anyone, and it only serves to create more in-house competition.
And on the other hand...he turns 31 in November, and historically that age is on the downside on one's career peak. Production is going to inevitably decline, and depending on the term of the possible extension, whatever monetary figure attached to him after the age of 35 is guaranteed monies. The last thing you'd want is to suddenly have the term "amnesty buyout" being floated around. I don't buy the concussion worry, as it comes across as a forced point- that said, injuries happen, but the same could be said for every player ever.
At what point would Minnesota be throwing good money after bad- is he going to get paid based off his resume, or reasonably expected production? The likelihood of 70 or 80 point seasons probably aren't going to happen- Hockey Prospectus projects Pominville to score roughly 18 goals and 31 assists this year.
So what does he get? The good thing for Minnesota is that there is a cap of sorts already; Pominville won't get Zach Parise or Mikko Koivu money, meaning his pay grade will likely be right about where he is now, save for some bonuses or something. In a way, the contract that Pominville is coming off of almost works as a blueprint for the possible extension; five years and roughly 25 million...except in reverse. The cap hit may stay around 4-4.5 million, but give him the 5-5.5 million in the first two years, and decline it from there to something reasonable when the contract becomes etched in stone.