It started as an uneventful, albeit beautiful, NHL Trade Deadline Day here in San Jose until the Wild took the ice for morning skate.
Just before the start of practice, forward Johan Larsson and goaltender Matt Hackett were called off the ice and speculation began to swirl that a trade was brewing. Well, the theory came to fruition as the Wild made a move to acquire Buffalo Sabres Captain Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick in exchange for Larsson, Hackett, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 second-round pick.
The right wing is another offensive threat in the Wild lineup. WildTV has an exclusive interview with Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher about today’s deal.
“He’s been an All Star in the NHL,” Fletcher said. “We’re adding a player that is a high-end offensive talent, yet, a player like many of our other top forwards that has a strong work ethic and plays well defensively.”
The Wild gave up a significant haul for the veteran, but Fletcher credited the team’s scouting and depth to be able to make a move like this.
“That depth of talent has allowed us to move a few of those pieces for a proven NHL player,” Fletcher said. “We still have a lot of very good young assets, but were able to take a couple of those assets and turn them into a very good player.”
After the morning skate, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo wasn’t allowed to comment on the transaction because the deal wasn’t official at the time, so no word on which line he’ll skate on.
The Wild’s bench boss has more pressing matters, like tonight’s matchup against the red hot Sharks, winners of its last five games.
Larsson was recalled yesterday and was set to be the 12th forward, but is on his way to Buffalo. Nate Prosser is expected to move onto the fourth line as a wing. Prosser skated at forward on Saturday against the Kings when Torrey Mitchell was hit with flu-like symptoms.
Mitchell’s return to San Jose was overshadowed by the Pominville news, but the winger talked briefly about playing against his old mates.
As for the other lines, things are likely to shift around with Matt Cullen out. It looks like Kyle Brodziak will skate with Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley. Charlie Coyle, who has played center before, could see some time in the middle.
Niklas Backstrom will be in net tonight and Darcy Kuemper was recalled from the Houston Aeros and will back him up.
The club also acquired goaltender Jeff Deslauriers from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for future considerations. The 6-foot-4, 203-pound native of St. Jean-Richelieu, Que., has appeared in 62 career NHL games in parts of three seasons with Edmonton and Anaheim going 23-32-4 with a 3.24 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and three shutouts.