When the Buffalo Sabres took on the Minnesota Wild last night it was not just another hockey game in a gruelling 82 game campaign. This was no run of the mill game and many fans and players had this game circled on their calendars. Why was this a special game? Former Buffalo Sabres captain and beloved player Jason Pominville was to make his first appearance back in Buffalo since his departure via trade at the deadline.
Jason Pominville was a beloved player, a fan favourite and a solid captain. Was he a top-notch superstar, no but he was a quality guy
who fans loved. He spent the better part of 8 season’s wearing blue and gold for the Sabres and 5 more in Rochester. He played 578 regular-season games and 45 playoff for the Sabres and scored one of the most famous play-off goals in franchise history. He made his return to his former home town last night, to a city he was traded from and an organization he gave his all too, yet the organization made no gesture towards him.
There was no tribute for Pominville, no mention on the jumbotron, no attempt to honour the beloved former captain. Instead the Sabres chose to honour Kevin Porter for his 200th career NHL game, despite the fact he’s played just 37 wearing blue and gold. It would have taken 30 seconds to give Pominville a shoutout and let the fans applaud him. A simple replay of his iconic overtime playoff goal, or even just a picture of him on the jumbotron, heck even just the PA announcer saying his name would have done. Instead hockey heaven decided to remain silent during Pominville’s return.
Pominville never asked for a trade out of Buffalo, he never wanted to leave the rebuilding Sabres and he never said no to a pay-cut because of the cap. He was traded out of Buffalo by Darcy Regier. There were no hard feelings from Pominville who understood the business of the deal and he didn’t tear down the Sabres after his departure. Jason Pominville is one of the classiest players in the NHL and the Buffalo Sabres showed very little class by refusing to honour their former captain.
Instead all Jason Pominville received was a warm cheer for fans as he was announced as a starter for the Wild and another cheer when he was given the 1st star of the night. For Pominville perhaps the game-winning goal and the defeat of his former team was enough of a tribute, but the Buffalo Sabres as an organization needed to take the time to at the very least mention Jason Pominville so he could have his moment. I mean it’s not like there was a 16 minute delay in the action at any point on Monday night right?
What do you think. Did the Buffalo Sabres drop the ball by not honouring Jason Pominville? Did Jason Pominville deserve a special tribute or shout-out? Let me know below.