The last two summers have shown the rest of the hockey world that the Minnesota Wild mean business. A team that signed not just one, but both of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last summer, the Wild acquired another big name player at last year’s trade deadline, and are a team that many are buzzing about heading into next summer’s free agency frenzy as well.
Minnesota continued locking up big name talent earlier this week, signing Jason Pominville to a new five-year contract. Pominville was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the year. While he’s a player absolutely worth getting signed long term, did the Wild overpay for his services?
It’s hard to define Jason Pominville as an elite player, but he’s in that upper tier of offensive talent, nonetheless. He’s been an incredibly consistent player over the course of his career, almost all of which has been in Buffalo, with the exception of the tail end of last season’s shortened year.
Pominville’s new deal is for five years, and will pay him $28 million, which equates to an average annual value of $5.6 million. That price does seem a touch high for Pominville, and it may very well be. However, if he can return to his 2011-12 form, it might be just the right price for what he brings to the table.
In 2011-12, his last full season prior to last year’s lockout shortened campaign, Pominville potted 30 goals, his first (and only) 30-goal campaign outside of his 2006-07 year, when he posted 34. He’s tallied at least 20 goals in every season at this level, with the exception of his rookie year in 2005-06 and last year, when he notched 14 in 47 games.
Pominville isn’t quite elite, but at the same time, he’s not being paid elite money. Just as his status would indicate, he’s being paid with much of that next tier of offensive talent. It’s a very slight overpayment, but nothing worth fretting over. He’s an offensive piece of this core for the Minnesota Wild, and getting him locked up was absolutely the right move, regardless of the price.