Apr 3, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Derek Roy (9) hugs left wing Marcus Foligno (82) after Roy score a winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Leafs 6-5 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

A Career In Review: Lindy and Darcy pt. 2

Feb 10, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) and right wing Brad Boyes (22) celebrate winning the game against the Dallas Stars at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Stars 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Darcy Regier, for years, has been the major talking point for criticism amongst Buffalo Sabre fans for the past many years. Darcy’s career with Buffalo began in the summer of 1997. And in his second season as GM, the team went to the Stanley Cup Finals, although that team was mostly not formed by him. Over the next few years, Darcy can be credited for drafting and developing players such as: Ryan Miller, Hendrik Tallinder, Ales Kotalik, Jason Pominville, and Thomas Vanek. He is also known for signing players like: Chris Drury and Danny Brier. Darcy has a habit of falling in love with the players he drafted however, which is one of the reasons Brier and Drury walked in 2007. It is not all his fault though.

In the early 2000’s, the Sabres were owned by Adelphia Communications, which was riddled with scandal and bankruptcy, causing financial troubles for the Sabres. After that, the team was owned by the League until it was sold to Tom Golasino and Larry Quinn. This is when Darcy was on a budget. Quinn and Golasino required Regier to stay more than $5 million under the salary cap, in order to keep revenue coming in. This greatly prevented Darcy from signing, retaining, or trading for players he desired, hence the departure of Brier and Drury. Now with a new owner who is willing to spend and has so-called “un-chained” Darcy Regier, there is potential for movement and changes. Since Pegula 2-22, Darcy has dipped his hand into the pot and tried his hand at signing some players and even traded for players with NTC(no trade clause).

Here are Darcy’s major moves(good or bad) over his Buffalo Career:


  • LaFontaine traded to the New York Rangers for 1998 2nd round pick (Andrew Peters) and a conditional pick in the 2000 draft (5th round, not exercised)

  • 5th round pick traded to Pitt Penguins for Jason Woolley.

  • Brad May and 1999 3rd round pick traded to Canucks for Geoff Sanderson

  • Jason Dawe traded to the NY Islanders for Paul Kruse and Jason Holland

Lafontaine was traded one year before he retired and May was traded after 7 seasons playing on the checking line for the Sabres. In return, the Sabres received solid winger Jason Woolley who played six seasons here.


  • Donald Audette (holding out) traded to LA Kings for 2000 2nd round draft pick (Milan Bartovic)

  • Matt Barnaby traded to the Pitt Penguins for Stu Barnes

  • Mike Wilson traded to Florida for Rhett Warrener and a 1999 5th round draft pick (Ryan Miller)

Matthew Barnaby for Stu Barnes was, at the time, a very hated trade. Barnaby was a very liked player but once Stu filled in, you couldn’t help but chime in when he scored, calling out “STUUUUUU!!!” Mike Wilson trade was a phenomenal trade. He was doing next to nothing on team and was traded for Rhett Warrener who played five seasons for Buffalo, and a draft pick that year which they used to select their future number 1 goaltender and future vezina trophy winner.


  • Cory Sarich, Wayne Primeau, Brian Holzinger and a 2000 3rd round draft pick traded to Tampa Bay for Chris Gratton and a 2001 2nd round draft pick (Derek Roy).

  • Michal Grosek traded to Chicago Blackhawks for Doug Gilmour and Jean-Pierre Dumont

While the Sarich/Primeau trade is considered one of the worst trades of Darcy’s career, you can’t help but look at the future consideration he received as compensation. He drafted Derek Roy who is one of the top point scorers on the team for the past 5 seasons.


  • 7th and 9th Round picks in 2001 traded to Tampa Bay Lightning for a 7th round pick in 2000 (Paul Gaustad)

  • Kamil Piros and a 4th round pick in 2001 traded to Atlanta for Donald Audette

In order to move up in the draft, Darcy gave up a 9th round pick to move up in the 7th round and drafted long time Sabre, Paul Gaustad. As for the other trade….. I can’t really explain that one. All I can say is that Audette was resigned as a rental, as he only played 12 games before leaving for Dallas in the offseason.


  • Michael Peca traded to NYI for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt.

  • Dominik Hasek traded to Detroit for Vyacheslav Kozlov, a first-round pick in 2002 and future considerations

Peca for Connolly was not a bad trade as Timmy was a servicable player until his bones turned to glass. All I can say for trading away the Dominator is WHY????


  • Vyacheslav Kozlov, 41st pick overall in 2002 traded to Atlanta for 31st and 82nd picks overall in the 2002 draft.

  • 31st pick overall in 2002 draft and rights to Mike Pandolfo traded to Columbus for the 20th pick overall in 2002 (Dan Paille)

  • Chris Gratton and a 4th round pick in 2004 entry draft traded to Phoenix Coyotes for Daniel Briere and a 3rd round pick in 2004

  • Stu Barnes traded to Dallas Stars for Mike Ryan and a 2nd round pick in 2003 entry draft

Solid trades took place in the draft this year. Darcy packaged deals to move into the first round and draft Daniel Paille. Stu Barnes was traded for a second rounder. And the big move of this year: Danny Brier and a 3rd for our Chris Gratton and a 4th. Who would have known that Brier would have turned into the player he is today.


  • Keith Ballard traded to Colorado for Steve Reinprecht

  • Then right after Rhett Warrener and Steve Reinprecht traded to Calgary for Chris Drury and Steve Begin

  • Jakub Klepis traded to Washington for Mike Grier

The other big move of the past ten years for the Buffalo Sabres was the trade of recently acquired Steve Reinprecht for Chris Drury. Brier and Drury would go on to co-captain the team after the lockout and lead them to two conference finals and a president’s trophy.

2004-05: Lockout


  • 3rd round pick in the 2006 entry draft traded to the Calgary Flames for Toni Lydman.

Lydman would go on to pair up with Tallinder and form one of our best defensive pairs in years.


  • Taylor Pyatt traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a 4th round pick in the 2007 draft.

It is at the end of this season, that is forever etched into the minds of Sabre’s fans everywhere, the day Drury and Brier left town. This is when Darcy became a wanted criminal and fans began calling for his head.


  • Brian Campbell and a 7th round pick in the 2008 draft traded to the San Jose Sharks for Steve Bernier and a 1st round

At the end of Campbell’s contract he thought he was the best defensemen in the league and was demanding over $6 million, therefore, so that he didn’t leave for nothing, Darcy traded him to San Jose where he signed a $7 million contract.


  • 13th overall pick and 3rd round pick in the 2008 draft traded to Los Angeles for the 12th overall pick(Tyler Myers) in the 2008 draft.

  • 2nd round pick in both the 2009 and 2010 draft traded for Craig Rivet and a 7th round pick.

  • Ales Kotalik traded to Edmonton for a 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft.

  • 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft traded for Dominik Moore

This was a very active year for Darcy, he was throwing around draft picks like there was no tomorrow. He traded up in the draft to select Tyler Myers and acquired a 2nd rounder for Kotals. However, no one liked giving up a 2nd for Moore.


  • Daniel Paille traded to Boston for a 3rd and 4th round pick in the 2010 draft

  • Nathan Paetsch and a 2nd round pick traded to Columbus for Raffi Torres

  • Clarke MacArthur traded to Atlanta for 3rd and 4th round picks in the 2010 draft

The Torres trade was a complete bust but Darcy did receive decent compensation for Paille and MacArthur, drafting Jerome Gautier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, and Steven Shipley.


  • 2nd round pick in 2011 draft traded for Brad Boyes

Darcy has had his up’s and down’s throughout his career here in Buffalo. Many still want him gone and I happily entertain that argument. But, I am still willing to look back at what he has done and respect and appreciate what he has done for this team. He has been a solid and servicable GM throughout the years and if he sticks around, we will just have to wait and see if he can redeem himself in the eyes of the fans.

Next: Darcy Part II cont.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Darcy Rieger

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