Rumors are swirling that the Buffalo Sabres are close to extending top scorer Jason Pominville. In a move that can only be described as poetic justice, the Sabres are reportedly offering an eight year deal worth $52 million, exactly the same amount former captain Daniel Briere received last summer from Philadelphia. Initial word is that the deal will include a no trade clause as well as a guarantee of permanent captaincy next October.
The first year of the deal would make Pominville the NHL’s newest $10 million man along with teammate Thomas Vanek, who has struggled under the pressure of his new deal. Sabres braintrust Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn were apparently concerned with the possibility of a large offer sheet being extended to Jason next summer when he is scheduled to be a restricted free agent. Sabres managment was burned by such a move last July when Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe gave Vanek a 7 year, $50 million offer sheet, which the Sabres subsequently matched.
Pominville currently leads the team in with 78 points in 79 games. A +17 on the season, he has improved his defensive zone play while taking on a larger leadership role, being named captain for the month of March. He is set to make $1.357 million next year before the rumored contract will kick in.
[via Hockey Buzz]