Q and A about the Sabres/Wild trade with @hockeywildernes

DALLAS, TX – MARCH 08: Jason Pominville #29 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Dallas Stars on March 8, 2014 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Dallas won 4-3. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Tony Abbott writes for Hockey Wilderness and hosts the Hockey Wilderness Podcast. You can find his hockey, Pokemon, and miscellaneous takes on Twitter @OhHiTony.

1) How do you feel about this trade overall? Do you think this was more of a salary purge by the Wild or do they really like Foligno/Ennis?

Pretty bad! I think it was a combination of both, otherwise they’d have gotten more flexibility by just dumping Scandella’s contract. Apparently GM Chuck Fletcher is saying they’ve chased Foligno for two years. So I guess they like him.

I’d see this as a Foligno-for-Scandella swap over a salary dump from Pominville to Ennis. And that’d be OK-ish, I guess, but the thing is, Minnesota saves less than a million dollars downgrading to Ennis, and get a worse player. There’s not a lot to like here for Minnesota’s end.

2) Can describe what sort of player Marco Scandella is and if you have any advance stats you can share about him that your typical NHL profile page won’t show?

Scandella is a defense-first defenseman who needs a solid puck-carrier to maximize his effectiveness. If he has that, he can take care of his own end pretty well. He does own a big shot that he likes to use. It never got much run on Minnesota’s power play, but it’s a weapon that Buffalo might want to look at on special teams.

He hasn’t popped on the fancy stats over the last two years, but there are off-ice explanations. His father died at the start of the 2015-16 season, and he has been mired in trade rumors for the last 18 months. Give him a change of scenery and a puck-mover at his side, and I think he’ll be fine.

3) Where would you list him in terms of pairings by NHL standards? Is he a 3-4 d-man or bottom 5-6?

He’s a fine second-pair guy. Really great third-pair guy, as long as he’s not stuck with dead weight.

4) Why did his goal total dip from two years ago?

He rode a pretty high shooting percentage in 2014-15, and fell back to career averages. That seems to be pretty much it.

5) I’m pretty familiar with Pominville since he played with the Sabres, but it seems his numbers have dipped recently over last 2 years. Why has that been the case?

Pominville lost his shooting touch. I don’t know how, or why, but he just did. He was an 11.5% shooter during his time in Buffalo. Don’t expect that anymore. Over the past 3 seasons, Pominville shot only 6.8%. That’s a big factor, as Pominville was a pretty good goal-scorer for most of his career.

It was really bad in 2015-16, when everything was going poorly for him (neither he nor his line mates could buy a goal), but he was really good last season. He shot the puck over 10 times per hour at 5-on-5, and was a Top-10 player in the league in 5-on-5 points per hour. The only reason he finished with just 47 points was his ice time (14:14 per game).

6) What type of player is Pominville now since the last time Sabres fans saw him, he was a 25-30 goal scorer?

A really similar one to what you knew. Still shoots a lot. Very good distributor. Good at entering the zone. The only differences are his shooting, and his defense getting a bit worse with age.

7) As of now, the Sabres have said they want to place a fast pace offensive game. How do you see Pominville and Scandella playing in that type of system?

I suspect they’ll be just fine. Can the rest of the Sabres play that style? You tell me.

8) Anything else worth mentioning about the players involved?

Not really. I think Buffalo made out extremely well in this deal. Sad to see them go, especially for such little return.