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Pominville signs five-year extension with Wild

by Dan Myers /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville has said all summer he preferred to get a contract extension done before the start of the season.

Pominville and the Wild accomplished that goal with about 10 hours to spare.

After trading offers for several weeks, the team and Pominville agreed to a five-year extension Thursday worth a reported $28 million, or an average annual salary cap value of $5.6 million.

Pominville's salary cap number for this season, the final year of a five-year, $26.5 million contract he signed with the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, is $5.3 million.

"If something was going to get done, we had preferred it get done before the season. That way it's not a distraction for me," Pominville said. "Now I can just focus on going out there and playing hockey and not worrying about contract talk during the season. I'm just really excited to be a part of this group for the next six years."

Re-signing Pominville became a priority of the Wild from almost the moment the team traded a pair of prospects and a pair of draft picks last season to Buffalo at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline. Wild coach Mike Yeo was thrilled with the news Thursday, announcing the deal to the team as it came onto the ice for its morning skate in preparation for Minnesota's season-opening game with the Los Angeles Kings.

In 10 games with Minnesota last season, Pominville had four goals and five assists. He will start this season playing on the team's first line on the right side of Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.

"It's a huge, huge thing for our group," Yeo said. "This guy is such a valuable player for us, a valuable teammate, he has respect from his teammates. It's a great job by our organization to get him signed and it's great of him to show that commitment to our organization."

Along with the signings of free agents Parise and Ryan Suter two summers ago, the Wild have locked up a large part of their core well into the future. Parise and Suter each has 12 years remaining on his deal, Koivu has five years left on his, and the organization has a number of young players playing on entry-level contracts for the next couple of seasons.

"The addition of those guys will help bring more guys here," Pominville said. "When you see the team that's headed in that direction, why wouldn't you want to be here?"

In addition to the financial security provided to Pominville with his new deal, he said it will be nice to finally be able to settle down with his wife Kim and their two young children. Pominville said earlier this week he and his family had moved seven times in the past 11 months.

"It's important when you have kids and family," Pominville said. "I never really realized it until last year but moving is tough, it's not easy. Stability will be nice. We can say this is home now and we're pretty excited about it."

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