Sunday, April 7, 2019

Jason Pominville Jersey Card

He was a second-round draft pick in 2001, selected 55th overall following a 113-point season (in 71 games) with the LHJMQ's Shawinigan Cataractes; he followed that with 121 points in just 66 games with the Cataractes. Because he holds a dual citizenship (Canadian and American), he was often passed over for the Canadian teams, including during his three years of eligibility at the World Juniors (Team USA usually favors players from the College ranks to fill their rosters).

Still, he spent three full seasons in the AHL with the Rochester Americans before earning a full-time gig in the NHL, including the franchise's best season ever, a 112-point performance in 2004-05 on a team that also featured Chris Taylor (79 points in 79 games), Thomas Vanek (42 goals in 74 games), Derek Roy (61 points in 67), Paul Gaustad (43 points in 192 penalty minutes), Daniel Paillé, Chris Thorburn, Jeff Jillson, Jason Botterill, and Ryan Miller in nets.

He was also with the Buffalo Sabres during that magical 2006-07 season (113 points and a second straight Conference Final), alongside Daniel Brière (95 points in 81 games), Vanek (43 goals and 84 points in 82 games), Chris Drury (37 goals in 77), Roy (63 points in 75), Maxim Afinegenov (61 points in 56), and Jochen Hecht (56 points) up front, Brian Campbell (48 points), Dmitri Kalinin, Teppo Numminen and Jaroslav Spacek out back, and Miller and Martin Biron between the pipes.

He also captained the Sabres in 2008 and 2011-13, and is so far ranked 10th in team history in goal scoring.

I am, of course, talking about Jason Pominville, at age 36 who just played out a five-year deal that was paying him on average $5.6M per and may once again be forced to leave the city he calls home as it tries to get out of a funk that has seen its hockey team miss the playoffs for eight straight seasons.

None of which is Pominville's fault, mind you, as he finished fourth on the team with 16 goals and seventh with his 30 points despite averaging just 12:30 ice time per game; he was fourth (16 goals) and fifth (34 points) last year, and scored a goal in what may be his final home game on Thursday, and had another assist in the last game of the season in Detroit a few hours ago.

He's a good veteran to have around, a true leader, a player who has always put the team ahead of himself, who was never jealous of other players getting more ice time and never complained about who he was playing with.

The type of guy you keep at a hometown discount, but that you respect enough not to undersell; I'd sign him on a series of one-year deals at $3M apiece until he decides to retire with a no-trade clause so he can decide if and where the team sends him if they're in danger of missing the playoffs at the trade deadline, so he can have a shot at a championship.

Here he is wearing the Sabres' white "Buffaslug" jersey from last decade:
It's card #AF-JP from Upper Deck's 2009-10 SP Game-Used Edition set and Authentic Fabrics sub-set; it features a beautiful dark blue jersey swatch.

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