Born November 30, 1982 (age 28) in Repentigny, Quebec, Canada
Right-winger and captain of the Buffalo Sabres
It is the 29th of November, so let’s spotlight someone who wears 29–and who has a birthday soon too. Pominville began his playing years in his home province, playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL, where in his last year of play he got an award for being the most gentlemanly player in the league. What a distinction! Buffalo selected him 55th overall in the 2001 draft, but he played for the AHL-level Rochester Americans for four straight years. Finally he made the big team in 2005-06 after they waived him, he cleared waivers, played in the minors and waited for the call. He scored his first goal about 6 years ago this week on the powerplay against Washington. Soon it became clear he was an asset for the team and he continued to shine in his first year there, even scoring a hat trick in the playoffs.
Pominville kept improving until he was basically scoring a point a game (80 points, 82 games) in 2007-08. Buffalo started doing a rotating captaincy and he got that title in March and April 2008. All of these stats led the Sabres to resign him for five years at $26.5 million, guaranteeing his continued presence in Buffalo. He also had an impressive start streak of 335 consecutive games until he took a hit from Niklas Hjalmarsson, getting checked headfirst into the boards and leaving the game on a stretcher. (He’s fine now.) While the team was in Finland for their Premiere games this October, he was named official permanent captain.
Pominville has an interesting choice to make when it’s time to play international games. He is a dual American-Canadian citizen thanks to his Canadian father and American mother, though he was born and raised in Canada and now plays for an American city so close to Canada that they sing O Canada at all home games. He picked America and represented us in the 2008 Worlds, scoring 5 points in 7 games. But if he wanted to, maybe he could represent Canada in a different year of Worlds! Whatever happens, Buffalo will enjoy his presence, seeing as last season he had 73 regular-season games last year with 22 goals, 30 assists and 15 penalty minutes plus 5 playoff games, 1 goal, 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes. Not bad at all!