- Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Wild’s Jason Pominville on Thomas Vanek.
“It’s funny,” said Pominville, the former Sabres captain who faces his former team and buddy for the first time Monday night. “It feels like I answer that question at least once or twice a day. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. He’s a very smart guy and talented player. I’m sure he’ll take his time and make the best decision when the time comes.”
Vanek is trying not to think of free agency.
“I know right now we’re rebuilding and have a young team and a lot of good young players,” Vanek said during a phone interview Friday. “That’s the reason why I just wanted to hold off and wait to see what happens here. With that said, I’ve never said I wouldn’t sign an extension here. I have enjoyed my eight years going on nine in Buffalo. It’s a great hockey town. The people really live for the Buffalo Sabres, I live in a great neighborhood and my kids love it, my wife loves it. And that goes a long way.
“So whatever happens on the business side of it — if I leave or stay — I’m not going to be one of those guys that says anything bad about Buffalo because I’ve enjoyed my time here and still do.”
The Wild will have the salary cap next summer to go after Vanek, or they could look at spending money on a goaltender or defenseman.
- Kevin Paul Dupont: Stars center Tyler Seguin has lost 53 of 88 faceoffs (34 percent). Was among the reasons the Bruins had him playing the wing.
- Dan Rosen: About the Devils: “Devils: There is no go-to scorer and the D isn’t activating enough. Loosen the leash on Larsson. Henrique should play C. Loktionov out.”
- Corey Pronman: Morgan Rielly thoughts:
“Rielly sticking though depends on your eval of him now, AND if you think the Leafs can do well. The latter point is in heavy debate. Like if TOR thinks he’s a quality player ATM and think they can make a run can see an argument to keep. But also good case not to. And the optimistic scenario is TOR battles through a bad conference, makes the playoffs, and Rielly progresses really well and is a factor.
- B.D Gallof: NY Islanders thoughts:
“So vets coming up on next contract vs kids via pipeline will be an interesting dichotomy as #isles start to gauge value vs productivity. This is not to say #isles won’t look to upgrade but seems pretty clear by habit/how they operate of how next few yrs will be. #isles framework seems to really buy into that direction especially in salary cap NHL – I think this will bear out in next few yrs. As for Bouchard… As I said earlier today… Fact sat already a big telling sign from coaches/mgt: competitive team for roles. I believe that #isles are going to use same system – keep cost down to hold key cogs/talent/core – and have cycling pieces find way to team. So as this season goes forward, you get why Strome/Reinhart not in team quite yet. Vets a plenty. But also how things will shake out have solid pieces with de Haan, Strome, Anders lee all waiting and likely as season callups to gain some gm exp when injuries happen. So in short: 10gm mark we get glimmers/indications of this years #isles / 20gm mark – some clarity. But not before either.”