Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres First Offseason Move Must be Management

There’s a lot of questions facing the Buffalo Sabres this offseason. But before they can answer any of them, they must first decide which direction the team is going. The Sabres made it clear by trading captain Jason Pominville at the trade deadline, that they were officially entering a re-building phase.

While the Sabres have made it clear they’re re-building, the direction of the club is still unclear. Do they ship the last two veterans in Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek out and stock up on draft picks? Or do they convince Vanek to stay? How many players do they keep, do they bring in veterans or just relying on the rookies to gain experience?

Before any of the questions surrounding the team itself can be answered, the Sabres need to make decisions about the management of the team.

At the season ending press conference Ted Black announced that Darcy Regier would be coming back next season. I understand that everyone wants to know what Regier’s future will be, but Black isn’t going to announce he’s not coming back with him sitting right beside him. Ted Black announcing that Darcy Regier will be back means little. A lot can happen in the offseason, decisions can still be made on whether or not Regier will be back.

Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff have been together with the Sabres for 16 years and are virtually attached at the hip. Many thought with Lindy Ruff getting the boot that Regier would follow. If the Sabres are series about entering their rebuild and building a successful championship calibre team, they would be smart to “fully clean” house and get rid of Regier.

Regier has been with the Buffalo Sabres since 1997 and has continually failed to build a championship team. It would seem that in order for Regier to build that championship team he would need to change his management philosophy as his current one isn’t getting the job done. For the Sabres to enter a re-build they must clear house and get rid of Darcy Regier or they will just continue to go in circles like a dog chasing his own tail.

The Sabres need to make the decision on management now and must be prepared to stick with that decision for the foreseeable future. Should the Sabres decide to stick with Regier and let him start the re-build they can’t kick him out in a season or two and expect another GM to come in and pick up the pieces that Regier left behind. The new GM will likely want to build the Sabres in a different way and may take the team and the fans down the road of yet another rebuild.

In addition to deciding on the GM, the Sabres also need to decide on a new head coach. Has Ron Rolston done enough to earn

another year at the helm? Or do the Sabres look for a more experienced coach?

The same way a GM builds a team, the coach also has a profound impact on the team. To build a successful team, which the Sabres brass says is their goal, they must acquire players that fit their coaches system.

The Buffalo Sabres as an organization are entering a crucial time. The Sabres can either make a decision that will benefit them and help propel them back into the playoff picture by committing fully to their rebuild, or continue down the same road with the same management until there is no other option. Either way the Buffalo Sabres need to decide on their management before anything else can happen.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Darcy Regier Management NHL

  • PaulR

    Ron Rolston reminds of Dick Jauron.

    • Timothy Redinger

      That is a scary presumption, very scary.

  • Nuthatch

    I think that veteran players are necessary, to make sure that the rookies are all headed in the proper direction. We’ve seen what happens when the team lacks leadership/experience.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      The perfect example of that is the Edmonton Oilers. With all their skilled young players there’s no reason they shouldn’t be winning.

      • Kevin

        great article CC

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Thanks for the read Kevin!

  • Troy Berkely

    After reading many posts on this subject in last few days, it is very interesting to me that the recent press conference was considered a disaster by many pundits. I am not sure what to read into it, if either Black is simply naive, or he is playing his cards close to the vest. I just can’t believe that this organization is not at least considering about replacing Regier which needed to happen yesterday! Giving the fact that the Sabres PR is taking a beating due to the recent ticket hike with very little to justify it except with a feeble excuse “CBA raising cost, a feigned attempt to sell fans that has fast become a cliche, and not to mention the disastrous season, and then Regier’s statement of fans having to endure more pain, Is Pegula seriously that clueless or is he simply towing the line for the status quo? If anything, if nothing changes, with Regier being the first to go, I would assume losing ticket sales is the only way fans are going to get this dumb organizations attention.

  • Phil Cappallo

    Just my opinion, but I say once you’ve gone this
    far blow it up and start over. I’ve heard Miller throw his team mates under the
    bus too many times. And if my memory serves, didn’t Vanek comment that if
    they’re going into a re-building stage he wants out? Two guys I’d want for my
    cornerstone. Work the right deal and have high draft picks for a few
    Phil in Cleveland

    • Caitlin Campbell

      You are correct Phil, Vanek said he wants out if this “re-build” is going to take long. Only problem is I don’t think the management knows how series this rebuild is or how long it will take. I have a feeling they’re going to but gum on the holes for a quick fix that will only backfire.

      Ryan Miller has made it clear he wants out, I don’t see him coming back.