LOS ANGELES -- A black Town Car pulled up to the top of the loading dock at the Staples Center late Thursday morning.
After a lengthy security check that included a look-see at the undercarriage with mirrors -- hey, this is the famed Staples Center, where the Grammys are held, Michael Jackson's memorial was conducted, where Kobe plays -- Jason Pominville's sedan was finally permitted entrance.
After a long cross-country trip that began in the wee hours of Thursday morning when buddy and former linemate Thomas Vanek dropped his former captain off at the Buffalo airport, Pominville got out of the car with a big smile on his face and an extended handshake.
"Jason Pominville," he said with a smile and look of relief that he finally arrived.
It's been a whirlwind few days for Pominville, who went from being an entrenched member of the Sabres' core to the latest pawn in the franchise's rebound.
Last week, Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier asked his captain for a list of eight teams he would not permit a trade to. So, obviously, Pominville knew there was a chance he would be traded.
Still, "it was a shock. It's still a shock," Pominville said hours before making his Wild debut against the Los Angeles Kings on the right side of a line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.
Pominville hadn't got a lot of sleep since finding out his life and career would be moving to Minnesota. There were both nerves and excitement, which is why after the upheaval the trade has caused for his family -- his wife and two children remain in Buffalo getting their lives in order -- he was ready to turn the page from Buffalo.
"Really excited to come to this team, this organization, this city, where they're doing whatever it takes to win, and they're heading in the right direction," said Pominville, 30, who scored at least the 20 goals the past six seasons, twice hitting 30. "They've had a lot of success so far and hopefully I can just fit in and add to the puzzle."
-- Star Tribune (Minneapolis)