When the Buffalo Sabres take the ice tonight against the Dallas Stars, they will do so without veteran forward Jason Pominville. Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News, after speaking with head coach Phil Housley, relays that Pominville will sit out Wednesday night’s contest as a healthy scratch. Some quick research by the Olean Times Herald’s Bill Hoppe indicates that this is Pominville’s first healthy scratch since April 4, 2006 – during his rookie season. Pominville, 36, has been an All-Star and frequent Selke Trophy candidate over his 15 years in the league, split between two stints with Buffalo and five seasons with the Minnesota Wild. So why now is he out of the Sabres’ lineup? Lysowksi writes that the only reason Housley gave was to rest the veteran of more than a thousand games in the second night of a back-to-back and give young Remi Elie a shot. However, Pominville’s streak of one goal and two assists in his past 24 games likely contributed as well. Even though Pominville is on pace to meet or exceed his 34 total points from last season, he has cooled off significantly after a hot start, much like the Sabres overall. His spot in the lineup could be in jeopardy, especially if Elie proves to be the spark that Buffalo is seeking.
- It didn’t take long for defenseman Michal Moravcik to find new employment. Just a day after clearing unconditional waivers and having his contract terminated by the Montreal Canadiens, Moravcik has returned home to the Czech Republic. HC Plzen has announced a contract with the 24-year-old blue liner for the remainder of the season. Plzen is the same team that Moravcik had come up through the system with and was playing for before signing in North America. As such, Morazcik should soon return to the elite form that first caught the eye of NHL scouts. Plzen is surely looking forward to the boost, as the team that also employs familiar names like Jakub Kindl and Petr Straka hopes to make up ground in the standings.
- The city of Winnipeg already hosts the NHL’s Jets and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, but it will have yet another tenant beginning next season. The WHL’s Kootenay Ice have decided to move to Winnipeg, as first reported by The Winnipeg Free Press’ Jeff Hamilton. The team is expected to keep the “Ice” moniker and same logo and will soon get to work on a long-term development plan for a new arena and sports complex on the south side of the city. While Winnipeggers already have two good teams to root for, no one in the area is likely to complain about the return of major junior hockey and should be excited to watch presumptive top-15 pick Peyton Krebs lead a young, rebuilding team next season.