With the Buffalo Sabres coming into their 2nd off season where Darcy Regier has no restrictions and full ability to build this roster I think he has done a good job thus far. Not badly over paying or giving away our youth for a player that could come in and might produce.
It all started when the Sabres traded for Brad Boyes. At the time it was a big deal for this team. In the past the Sabres would never have even thought of this as an option. Before the change of ownership Regier was really handcuffed as to what he could do and many fans thought it was just the way he was. Of the moves he’s made in the Pegula era I think this one might have been the worst but it’s a move that showed a change was coming in how the new ownership wanted to proceed.
Another move that comes to mind is Darcy’s first big signing. The free agency period opened last year and Brad Richards was the big fish that many teams wanted. Buffalo was on that list and for a while many thought we had a good chance at him. That all started to go away when the Rangers signed him to a big 9 year deal. Buffalo then quickly hopped in and signed Ville Leino the next best player in most team’s eyes. There wasn’t a problem with the signing at first but from the beginning I always questioned the term and money he got. He ended up signing a 6 year 27million dollar deal. That’s a lot of money for an unproven player but again that was the new outlook to this team.
With the exception of the Boyes trade I think Darcy has done a really good job on the trade market. Two trades that landed starting defensemen were great in my opinion. Christian Ehrhoff having his rights traded twice looked like he was going to be hitting the open market until the Sabres got his rights from the Islanders. In no time the Sabres offered Ehrhoff a 10 year 40 million dollar deal that was soon signed. In the end they gave up a fourth round pick to get a top 3 d man for many years to come. Great deal!
The next trade that landed a defenseman was for Robyn Regehr. This trade was significant because of the fact Regehr had a no trade clause. That being said Buffalo’s new outlook on being “Hockey Heaven” would be put to the test to see if a player would wave his NTC and come to the Sabres. After Mr. Pegula traveled to Robyn’s home to visit with him and his family he decided to come to the team. When it was all said and done the Sabres acquired Regehr, former Sabre Ales Kotalik and a second round pick from the Flames for Chris Butler and Paul Byron.
Lastly two trades that Darcy pulled off at the draft and after I think will show this team’s new identity and begin to have some great players coming up within the organization. With the Sabres having four picks in the first two rounds of the draft many thought they would do something with them. The draft came and still nothing was done with their picks. They ended up selecting Mikhail Grigorenko with their first pick and didn’t waste any time trading back into the 1st round. After that pick they sent their 21st and 42nd overall picks to Calgary for their 14th overall pick and selected Zemgus Girgensons. A big center that they need and along with his skill will hopefully help this team sooner than later. The other trade was the moving of Derek Roy. This was a long time coming and I think we got a great return for what it was worth. The Sabres in return got forward Steve Ott and defensemen Andy Pardy. Ott will come in and have an immediate impact on this team and make this team tougher. Pardy will more than likely spend some time in Rochester.
Let’s not forget he has also made a few minor signings (Porter, Scott) that will help with the new look of this team. All in all I think he has done a good job. I do believe a major move could happen within the next year but also hope that the right players are moved and we do not overspend.