Sword Play: Buffalo Sabres Captain to Germany; Miller’s Lockout Voice Grows

Kevin Hoffman – US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville has decided to sign a contract with Adler Mannheim of the Deutschland Elite League (DEL) for the remainder of the lockout, which may signal the second major wave of NHL players signing in Europe.

Pominville had one of his best seasons in the NHL last year, which was his first as the Sabres’ captain. He notched his second 30-goal season as a Sabre and finished with 73 points in 82 games, which made him the only Sabre to play in every game last year.

Pominville’s move does not necessarily mean he and other Sabres teammates believe the season to be lost. Pommers stated that if the season does end up being played, it will take “a few weeks to a month,” and that his time in Germany will allow him a “mini-training camp to get into shape.”

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As the lockout drags on longer and longer, many players voices have grown stronger and stronger.

That certainly includes Ryan Miller’s.

After stating that the lockout was “just to satisfy egos” at the end of October, Miller has endorsed the NHLPA’s option of decertifying the union.

Miller believes that decertification, or the threat of it, is the only move the NHLPA has given the current climate of labor negotiations, and it will show Gary Bettman and the NHL exactly how far the NHLPA is willing to go.

Decertification is a bold move for the players and could lead to what amounts to anarchy when the league and the players are able to put their big boy pants on and deal with this like adults. Yet, Miller may be right as the NFLPA did decertify in their labor battle last summer and the NBPA threatened and began the process when a deal was struck between them and the NBA last winter.

Only time will tell if the NHLPA is “forced” to do the same, but Miller will likely be at the forefront of whatever it is they do.

Miller reportedly will have a place in the widely publicized players-owners meeting that is to take place Tuesday. The meeting has an unmistakable “last-ditch effort” aura and must include some of the more vocal players in order to be any bit effective. Miller’s presence will at least show a good faith effort by both sides to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

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Quick Hits:

Tyler Ennis is back stateside and it is not good news for Sabres fans. After playing only 10 games with Langnau of the Swiss A League, Ennis has returned due to his second injury in his short tenure. With Cody Hodgson nursing a broken hand, Ennis’ injury, currently undisclosed, could leave the Sabres extremely thin at center if the season were to start soon.

One would assume Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier have been watching TJ Brennan very closely, as the Sabres defenseman currently has 18 points in 19 games in the AHL with the Rochester Americans and has been playing excellent hockey all-around.

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