Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild has acquired Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild trade news Updated: April 3, 2013 - 3:32 PM
The Wild has acquired Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville and a 2014 fourth-round pick for Matt Hackett, Johan Larsson, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 second-round pick.
 
Clearly a huge price, but one from a team that has missed the playoffs for four straight years, is looking to win now and is full of young prospects right now and core pieces that are going to be mainstays on the team for a long time.
 
The 30-year-old Pominville, a right winger, was asked to submit a list of eight teams to the Sabres that he would not accept a trade to.
 
Minnesota was not on that list.
 
Pominville, Thomas Vanek's linemate and 2001 second-round pick has played full 82-game seasons in five of his six full years. He has scored 185 goals and 456 points in 578 games. He’s a two-time 30-goal scorer who has also topped 20 goals four other times.

He has scored 10 goals and 25 points in 37 games this year.
 
"Heck of a player," Zach Parise said as he left the ice. "Heck of a player."
 
Later, outside the locker room, Parise said he played on a line with Pominville at the 2008 world championships in Halifax.
 
“He works hard. You just look at the way he’s been used, he plays power play, penalty kill, reliable, but he puts pucks in the net, he makes plays, he gets point. He plays a really all-around game. That’s what we’re going to see.”
 
On the acquisition, Parise said, “It’s really exciting for us. It just gives you the sense that they believe in the way we’ve been playing and they believe in our team. Now it’s up to us to elevate our game even more. But just that addition, it really gives us a good look and a lot of good, offensive players.”
 
Pominville has one more year left on a five-year, $26.5 million deal. That’s a $5.3 million cap hit with $5.5 million in real salary next year.
 
Hackett, 23, was a third-round pick in 2009. In two years with the Wild, he went 3-7 with a 2.64 goals against average.
 
Larsson, 20, a 2010 second-rounder who captained Sweden to gold at the world juniors in January 2012, made his NHL debut earlier this season.
 
Coach Mike Yeo said he couldn’t speak until the trade was official.
 
“What I will say is I know that management has a lot of faith in this group and right from Day One has always been very committed to doing whatever we can to put a great product on the ice.”
 
On pulling Hackett and Larsson from the ice, Yeo said, “That is always a tough part of it. It’s not an easy thing, for sure.
 
“Especially for young kids, you just don’t quite know what’s going on. I’m able to say very little. Obviously we know it sure sounds like something is going on.”
 
Darcy Kuemper has been recalled by the Wild and is on his way to San Jose. Nate Prosser will likely have to play wing tonight.
 
The lines will be mix and match tonight. Charlie Coyle may begin to see shifts at center because Pominville, whom I assume will debut tomorrow night in Los Angeles, would skate with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.
 
Tonight, Kyle Brodziak will center Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley. Pierre-Marc Bouchard will skate with Cal Clutterbuck. That was the line Larsson was supposed to center tonight.
 
More to come.
 

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