Sure, Jason Pominville is no Eric Staal, but the timing of this 7-year extension for one of the NHL's brightest young stars could not have been worse for the Blue and Gold faithful.
7 years, $57.75 million is a lot of dough. That's $8.25 per season. You might say that this deal is the opposite of a hometown discount. I like Eric Staal, but I think that's a bit steep, and that the Canes had to up the anty to keep their young star in North Carolina.
Pommer and his agent have got to have noticed this deal. There's little doubt about it, Jason can sign a better deal outside of Buffalo. His market value has got to be pretty high. Does he want to stay with this young core that he grew up with in Rochester, or does he have any intrigue for playing in a big city - with his name in lights and splashed over promotion deals left and right? Say in a Montreal or Toronto. I don't know about you, but I could be torn on that.
Let's look at the two side-by-side. Yes, I realize Eric Staal is better. Yes, I realize he's so important to Carolina...perhaps in the way Ryan Miller is important to Buffalo. We're talking franchise player, and he deserves to be paid like one. But Jason is another rising star of the NHL, a young guy who has so much potential still. So here's the stats for these two:
Staal, age 23
2007-08, 38g 44a, 82p
2006-07, 30g 40a, 70p
2005-06, 45g 55a, 100p
Pominville, age 25
2007-08, 27g 53a, 80p
2006-07, 34g 34a, 68p
2005-06, 18g 12a, 30p (only 57 games played)
Yes, it's a Center compared to a Winger. But both are Team Captain material. Both are young, rising stars; leaders on their respective squads, speaking loudly by their play on the ice. And it's just scary how similar their numbers are the last two years.
$8.25 per year for Eric? At least 6 mill for Jason. Easily. I'd say 7 mill is better market value for the man.
Like most Sabres fans, I was hoping he'd take a deal more like Derek Roy's: $4 million per season for 6 years. Not gonna happen folks. I'm praying he'll settle for $5 mill. My best guess is the Sabres will get him to sign a hometown discount at $5.5 per season, but that's really gonna mess with their cap. It's worth it though. Get him signed!