Jason Pominville is gone.
Why the pity party?
One can understand why former teammate Thomas Vanek is somewhat upset. His relationship was a bit more personal as Pominville was his neighbor and a player he's played his entire career with.
Not only that, Pominville was the third veteran player traded by the Sabres in the five days. Defenseman Jordan Leopold was traded to St. Louis on Saturday and fellow d-man Robyn Regehr was traded to Los Angeles two days later.
Of course Vanek was in shock. He should have been. Only he and Miller are left of "the Rochester Guys," otherwise known as GM Darcy Regier's "core."
The "core" was a failure and Pominville was the face of that "core" after Tim Connolly was not re-signed two years ago, Paul Gaustad was traded at the 2012 trade deadline and Derek Roy was traded last summer.
That group of soft-but-skilled forwards was nicknamed "the suck sisters" by the late JT on another site. On that same site they were frequently referred to as "purse-carriers."
And they were.
Sure they could score points. But, so what?
When the pressure was turned up, they wilted. Always did.
For years we heard fans clamoring for a more "blue collar" team, one that would work hard, get their nose dirty, leave everything out on the ice and play a full 60 minutes. And how many times over the past 5+ seasons did we Sabres fans get that?
Very few and far between. Pominville wore a letter on his sweater all those years.
That team, a team that Regier built and sold as a playoff team, was about as vanilla as it gets.
Blasé. Bland. Emotionless.
Other than Pominville's short-handed, series-clinching overtime winner in Ottawa, was there ever anything really exciting about him?
Sure, everyone says that Pominville had to be traded for one reason or another. WGR's Brian Kozial was bemoaning it as if the team had lost Adam Oates or Ron Francis.
Over the past 5+ seasons this has been one of the easiest teams to play against in the league. The reason? The "core." And Pomiville was the one of the leaders of this group.
He needed to go, as the core players before him needed to go.
I'm more saddened that it didn't work out for Regehr than I am for Pominville. I don't care how slow or lacking in offensive prowess Regehr was, he was "anti-core," a tough player to play against who's game is encapsulated in his intense, on-ice scowl. Pominville? His demeanor was more of a soccer mom.
Good luck, Minnesota.
Pominville is a good all-around player who will play in all situations and put up some points. If Wild GM Chuck Fletcher feels that's what he needs, fine. Glad to do business.
If Vanek and Miller are unhappy about it, sorry. It's professional sports.
If fans are unhappy, get over yourselves. It's the change y'all have been clamoring for. Sorry it came true.
I was happy when Hank Tallinder left. Happy when Connolly wasn't re-signed. Happy that Gaustad was traded and thrilled that the Sabres got a first-rounder for him.
When Roy was traded, I was ecstatic. The purge of the "core" was really on, something I'd been wanting to see for years. And when I heard that Steve Ott was coming back, it was even better. More anti-core players.
When Leopold was traded, I liked it. How many "puck-movers" do you need in the top-six on defense?
And when Pominville was traded, no remorse whatsoever. I don't care if he carries the Cup with Minny. I don't care if he scores 40 goals. He's gone. And the return was exceptional.
Hey Buffalo fans, there's a full-blown purge of the old core going on. You all should be thrilled with it.
If you're sulking. Sorry.
Simply put, lamenting a purge of the core, especially having the face of the core traded, is weak and pathetic.
As weak and pathetic as this team has looked for the better part of 5+ years.