Sabres vs. Wild: Jason Pominville returns to Buffalo

USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pominville will return to Buffalo for the first time since being traded to the Minnesota Wild last April.

For the first time in a long time, Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville will play in the First Niagara Center as he and the Wild face the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

More from Sabres blog Die By The Blade: Pominville returns to Buffalo

While Pominville anticipates spending the next six seasons in Minnesota, he spent the first nine years of his career in Buffalo and acted as the Sabres captain before being traded at the deadline last April. The opportunity to play his former team early is something that Pominville is happy about, as he expressed a desire to "get it out of the way," via Pioneer Press:

"We're going there to win the game and focus on what we have to do," Pominville said. "I'll enjoy the moment, but we have business to take care of."

The contest marks the first game of a four-game road trip for the Wild, which pits the team against Atlantic Division opponents. Minnesota enters the trip on a two-game winning streak after failing to record a win in its first three games of the season. Despite its winless efforts, the team managed to register at least one point in four of five games and enters the night in fourth place in the Central Division.

Despite downplaying his return, Pominville looks forward to seeing his old teammates since he wasn't afforded an opportunity to say goodbye in April, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"The only two people I got to say bye were (Thomas) Vanek, because he was my neighbor and drove me to the airport, and our (equipment manager), Dave Williams, who brought me my equipment."

Of course, he also hopes to receive a warm welcome from the fans, via NHL.com:

"It'll be fun to go back, see the guys, play against guys you played with for a while," Pominville said. "Hopefully I don't get the same treatment Ryan did."

Pominville is referencing the harsh treatment of defenseman Ryan Suter during his trips back to Nashville when the fans jeered him for leaving the Predators two summers ago. Considering the circumstances, it's hard to imagine Pominville endures the same kind of reception, because Buffalo's front office decided to trade him instead of him deciding to leave. In fact, the fans have made it clear that they're none too pleased with manager Darcy Regier, as they chanted "Fire Darcy" during a contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets last week.

While the Wild look to record their first road win of the season, the Sabres will be looking for their first win of the year. The team has registered an 0-5-1 record entering Monday night.

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