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POMINVILLE SELECTS TEAM USA

Wednesday, 04.23.2008 / 2:48 PM / Features
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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POMINVILLE SELECTS TEAM USA
Jason Pominville (Photo: Getty Images)
For Jason Pominville, it wasn’t about making a decision.

It was a matter of taking an opportunity.

Electing to use his dual citizenship to play for the United States in the 2008 IIHF World Championships this May - instead of Canada - the Montreal native officially became an American hockey player for international events.

But that is not to say Pominville was attempting to make a statement.

“It was an opportunity and it’s not as if I did something wrong,” he said. “I have the right to do what I did and that’s why I did it.”

His mother, born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and his father, a native of Quebec, made him eligible for either team. However, it was the United States that made the first offer.

“My decision was made before Canada even announced their rosters,” Pominville said.

”I don’t know if I would have been on [Team Canada] or not.  I’ve never been a part of the Canadian program.  I’ve never played for them.  So for me to join the US organization… I thought overall it would be the best decision for me.”

Pominville previously had a tryout with the Canadian junior team in 2002, but was not selected for the final roster.

The IIHF stipulates that while an athlete with dual citizenship can choose to participate for either country the first time he is chosen, once the decision has been made he can only play for that country in international events.

“I live in the US, I enjoy myself in Buffalo, and who knows, after my career I might even end up spending the rest of my life in the US,” Pominville said. “Right now, I don’t see why I would consider myself Canadian more than an American [citizen].

"But I think joining their program definitely makes me a little bit more of an American [hockey] player.”

Pominville is not the first to make such a move in international play. Most notably, Belleville, Ont. native Brett Hull utilized his dual citizenship to play for the United States in the 1986 World Championships. Hull continued to represent Team USA in the Winter Olympics (1998, 2002), World Cup (1996) and Canada Cup (1991) events.

“He’s not the only one to ever do that,” Pominville said, citing Adam Deadmarsh and Mike Knuble as other examples. “There are a few guys that have dual citizenship and decide to go to play with the US and vice versa. I think there was a kid in juniors this year that was American actually, and decided to go play with the Canadian team. It happens on both sides and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal if you’ve never played for them.”

His teammates don’t seem to mind. Wisconsin native Drew Stafford is set to join Pominville in May as he makes his World Championship debut.

“I’m excited about the challenge, I’m excited about the team and I’ll just go there, do my best and hopefully bring back a medal,” said Pominville.

And make the most of a great opportunity.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82