I’ll be honest here – I never quite felt right about “acknowledging” former players. At least officially. We all agree you can’t do it for all of them, so then it becomes a judgement call. Did player X do ‘enough’ as a Sabre to be ‘recognized’? Did they leave under dubious circumstances? Do we just show them on the video board? An intermission retrospective of their best plays? Meh. Never saw the point. I wish Jason well, but I’d rather focus on (and worry about) the team that’s here. I am more than capable of deciding on my own to clap for a guy I liked that left the team, I don’t need the jumbotron to tell me that.
This is not anything against Jason Pominville himself. I loved him when he was here, he was a good soldier who played quite well despite getting saddled with a rough contract to live up to. He’s the author of one of my (and probably your) favorite Sabres moments in recent memory, the overtime, short-handed Ottawa playoff killer. I can still hear that idiot Bryan Murray say “It’sh Jashon Pominville” after being asked how a player could get in on goal like that. Was it strange seeing him in a Minnesota sweater? Yeah, but to lament it and clamor for “recognition” is to live in the past. I know the present hasn’t been any fun yet, but it will be.