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Minnesota ‘always felt like home’ for Scandella, who was traded to Sabres

Minnesota Wild v Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 10: Marco Scandella #6 of the Minnesota Wild prepares for a face off against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 10, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. The Wild defeated the Panthers 7-4. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville were both involved in the significant trade made between the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild, but it’s reasonable to assume that Scandella was more deeply shaken by the change.

After all, Pominville returns to the scene of some of his career-best moments in Buffalo. Scandella, meanwhile, admitted the shock he felt to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

OK, shock might be a bit much since Scandella acknowledged that he thought a move was possible, but it wasn’t something that just bounced off of him.

” ... It wasn’t easy,” Scandella said. “I got drafted by Minnesota, I love the guys, I love the city. I’ve always felt like it’s been a home for me. It doesn’t even feel like a second home. It always felt like home. It was tough at the beginning to get traded, but at the end of the day, it’s a new challenge and I’m super excited about the new challenge I have. But I’ll always cherish the years I had in Minnesota and all the great friends and all the people I’ve met over the years. It’s an incredible place to live and play hockey.”

If nothing else, Scandella isn’t outrageous in talking up the possibility for improvements in Buffalo, as he discusses with Russo.

He points out the work new Sabres head coach Phil Housley did with Nashville’s defense, and Scandella is part of the reason that this franchise should be more optimistic about its blueline.

MORE: Scandella, Pominville moved in that multi-part trade

Perhaps Rasmus Ristolainen can begin to shed his image as an offense-first liability on defense? He is just 22, after all.

Beyond that, Scandella adds credibility to the mix, while Nathan Beaulieu brings the sort of “modern,” puck-moving style that could mix well with Housley’s philosophies.

The Sabres already have some upside in net with the Robin Lehner - Chad Johnson combo, and with skilled forwards including Jack Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly, there are some reasons for excitement.

All that sweetness doesn’t totally cancel out bitter feelings for Scandella, who knows that hockey is a business but hasn’t had to deal with the negative aspects like trades all that often (until now). More on that here.