POMINVILLE- The Minnesota Wild and Jason Pominville are happy to announce that the city of Pominville will be financed $28 million over the next five years.
News of the extension, which begins in 2014, comes hours before the Wild begins its regular season at home against the Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s exciting that he wanted to commit to us,” Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher told Wild.com. “To me it sends a strong message that he believes in the direction we are going and we’re thrilled to have him."
“It was something we wanted done before the season so it wouldn't be a distraction,” Pominville said. “I'm really excited to be a part of this team for the next six years.”
Pominville, who scored 9 points (4G-5A) in ten regular season games for Minnesota last season, relocated from the Buffalo area where Jason was a valued member of the community. In fact, the Mayor of Pominville was even named captain of the Sabres for his outstanding work on the ice. The 30 year-old has seven straight 20 goal seasons (including the pro-rated Lockout year). Beyond that, Pominville's style fits the Wild system well.
While Minnesota was able to avoid the headaches that comes with having a player in his final year of a contract - especially given the price paid (Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett, a first and second round pick) to get the 6'5" forward - there is some concern with the length and money.
Dan touched upon this last week. Pominville is nearing the end of his peak, turning 31 in November, and paying him a $5.8M cap hit when he turns 36 in 2018-19 is worrying. The player won the negotiation unless the cap continues to raise. Like the deal that brought Pominville inside the "State of Hockey" fold, extending him is more about winning now than the long-term. The contract does reflect that. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports the first 3 years of Pominvile's deal are $6M and the last 2 are $5M. That may not be bad for a first-line forward, but might be for a player who is reaching an age that traditionally signals a decline.
It also spells doom for someone like Dany Heatley to re-sign this summer (if Heatley's slow decline himself didn't already spell that out).
There is a little flexibility down the line for an overachieving youngster or two to extend although the Wild will have 3 forwards in their late 20s/early 30s on long-term, high paying deals until at least 2017. Things are better than last season. More than anything, it speaks to the need for Minnesota to develop that player or two.
This isn't a case of lax zoning laws. The city of Pominville cannot annex everything if the Wild will be successful over the next six seasons. It has to be one cog in an larger
At the same time, let's be honest. Minnesota is better today and for the next few seasons with Pominville in the fold.
Follow First Round Bust on Twitter @FRBHockey. You can follow Nate @gopherstate and try to figure out which directions to take to Pominville.