Apr. 11, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Steve Ott (9) before a face off against the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Is Darcy Regier a Genius When It Comes to Trades?


When you break down the trades that Darcy Regier has made during his career as Sabres GM, you may think he is one of the leagues best; acquiring such players among the likes of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. In particular however, the last five significant trades that Regier has made have been no doubters for the Sabres, as they have been the clear cut winners in all of them. (I didn’t include the Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr trades, because we won’t know how these turn out for a few years). Here is an analysis of these trades.

Andrej Sekera to Carolina for Jamie McBain and a 2nd round pick. For the most part, this trade was unexpected. Sekera, who had spent his entire career with the Sabres, was a solid Dman, but nothing more than that. In return, the Sabres get a relatively young player in McBain, who still has lots of offensive potential. The second round pick was also a big plus for the Sabres, who were able to select a much needed, young winger in J.T. Compher. Result: Win for the Sabres

Jason Pominville to Minnesota for Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett, 1st and 2nd round pick. Almost every Sabres fan knew that Pominville would be dealt at the deadline. He was past his prime and his lack of leadership as Sabres captain really started to show. The Sabres got a ton in return for Pominville. A 1st and 2nd round pick were key for the rebuild, and two solid prospects that will impact the team in the coming years. Result: Definite win for the Sabres

Derek Roy to Dallas for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy. We all know how this trade panned out for both teams. Derek Roy lasted only half the season with the Stars, making very little impact. On the other hand, the Sabres may have found their future captain in Steve Ott. One of their best players this past season, Ott was up to his agitating ways throughout the duration of the season, to go along with playing significant time on special teams and chipping in often offensively. Pardy was okay during his season with the Sabres, but it was Ott who was the main piece to this trade. Result: Definite win for the Sabres

Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer. This was one of the most intriguing trades in recent NHL history. Zack Kassian has yet to pan out as an NHL player while Gragnani is out of the NHL. For the Sabres, Cody Hodgson still has lots of potential and has had some solid seasons in the NHL, but needs to improve defensively. Alexander Sulzer was a nice surprise in this trade as he has proven to be a solid top 5 Dman. Result: Win for the Sabres

Paul Gaustad and a 4th round pick to Nashville for a 1st round pick. It really was a trade deadline day miracle that Regier was able to salvage a 1st rounder for Paul Gaustad. With Buffalo, Gaustad was a solid 3rd liner, who was one of the leagues best at faceoff’s. He was loved by all the fans, and off the ice was an all around great guy. He has yet to make any sort of impact with the Preds, as he has been injured for most of his time in Nashville. Result: Win for the Sabres

Take these last five trades as proof that Darcy Regier is a genius when it comes to trading. He has done it throughout his career as Sabres GM. With an interesting season ahead for the Sabres, what moves may Regier make next?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Trade Deadline

  • davidmuscalo

    The only thing Regier is a genius at is keeping his job a GM. He is a master of circumlocution and passing the buck. I just wish Terry would wake and smell the coffee and get us a first-class GM and President.

    • Jes

      I know I don’t agree with Black or Regier running this team. It’s absolutely nuts. Can’t believe Darcy has full control of this team (No assistant GM). This was the summer where the Sabres should have kicked off rebuilding in a real BIG way. Our two stars should have been dealt during or before the draft. Now we risk losing them to free agency as there value keeps dwindling.

      • qwicwted

        Jes – it seems you are frustrated because Darcy didn’t do any deals for Vanek and/or Miller. Thing is, you have to have something someone wants and IMO I think Vanek and Miller did themselves a disservice by dissing the team and saying they wanted no part of a rebuild. I don’t think they realized that they lowered their value and I would rather have Darcy hold on to Miller/Vanek then give them away for crap.
        Miller – I would say trade him for Hemsky and a draft pick – Bflo gets rid of a complainer and Hemsky gets a new environment. Hell, its only for a year. And it seems Edmonton is itching to unload Hemsky. I also think the Sabres need to move on from him – let Enroth and Hackett battle it out.
        Vanek – when I look at teams that can afford to sign him – that aren’t rebuilding don’t see much available. So, perhaps the best thing for Vanek is to zip it and sign a new contract. Perhaps he gets lucky and gets traded around the deadline.

        • 40plusyearsfrustration

          I agree with Jes’s frustration as Millers value has sunk to nothing. And I have yet to see to many teams make deadline deals for a rental goalie at Millers age and future salary demands. Unless said GM gets lucky with an offer this off season, right now I would take even a 5th just to settle the issue, Miller will walk at the end of season with no compensation to the Sabres. Doubtful Miller goes to Edmonton. He wants to win a cup, and it would seem very likely Edmonton is one of the teams on his no trade list.
          Vanek will have value at the trade deadline, although I would love to have this bigger, stronger version of Rick Vaive planted in front of the net. Although he needs a protector in the mold of Lee Fogolin there.
          As to the players wanting to walk and voicing said feelings; I can’t blame them because of said GM’s past history with dealing with players. And I don’t buy the past ownership card being said GM’s excuse. This team spent to the cap many years and a good GM, with the TEAMS interest at heart would stand up to an owner; not cave just to protect his useless backside.

        • Curtis Marcaccio

          Fully agree with Vanek getting a long term deal! He’s too valuable to trade. 40 goal scores don’t grow on trees.

    • 40plusyearsfrustration

      Well said.
      Said GM’s excuse, blaming previous ownership in tying his hands is bunk.
      This team spent to the cap many times. And as I stated in a response below, a good GM would stand up for his principles, not cave to ownership just to protect his backside and job.

      • bullwinkle88

        Easy to say, isn’t it? Put yourself in his shoes. You have a job that you love, that pays well, and there are only 29 others like it in the entire country. You wouldn’t do whatever is necessary to protect that job?

        Come on! Try to be rational.

        • 40plusyearsfrustration

          Fine, I will give you that he is in self preservation mode. Doesn’t mean I believe he has done an even average job.
          I just don’t see what he has done to deserve all the time he’s had to continually make a mess of the team and keep said job.
          I see your other reply below states folks like me should be ignored. Fine. I will reply my thoughts there.

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  • bullwinkle88

    I fully agree with your article and use this information to defend Darcy as a very good GM. I have learned that many people simply hate this man and will scrounge up anything to hurl at him (e.g. failure to trade Miller/Vanek as yet).

    These people deserve to be ignored.

    When you put the facts out on the table, Darcy indeed, has proven his worth.

    • 40plusyearsfrustration

      Ignore folks like me because my facts don’t match yours.
      I see the same facts as you, yet I don’t see where said GM has done a good job.
      16 years of drafts and not a single super-star. Averages would say he should have a least hit one.
      And I don’t believe he has suddenly become a genius on the past couple of drafts. No answers there for a least 3-5 years.
      I will say I believe Vanek and Miller are above average; but not super-stars.
      Trades and free agents. Seems when he does get one right, they don’t last long. ie…Drury/ Briere. And yes I bring them up as they will be a pox on said GM for his entire legacy.
      I could go on from my end, but the impression I get is if we all don’t agree with your opinion, we should just dis-appear. Sorry, won’t happen.
      I will voice my opinion as I am sure you will continue to voice yours.
      In one area where I do believe we have common ground, is we both appear to be passionate about the team.

      • bullwinkle88

        You can say what you want, but if it’s irrational hatred, then you will be ignored. If you read “fan” posts often as I do, you will notice the irrational gang railing against everything he has ever done.

        I’m going to assume you are of the rational variety until I see otherwise.

        Your points are well taken but all have flaws.

        No superstars in the draft…well superstars almost always occur in the first five selections. Darcy hasn’t had that opportunity outside of Vanek. And no one can say that was a bad pick. Remember, hindsight is 20/20 and totally unfair. Otherwise 29 other teams would have had Messier on their team.

        The Drury/Briere fiasco was the product of Quinn/Golisano, not Regier. Darcy simply followed their lead (thereby keeping his job). Briere was told that he wasn’t part of the Sabres future. I know this as a fact. But it wasn’t Darcy that told him.

        I was there when the first puck was dropped in 1970, fresh out of the army. I know you were there too. And for me there is no other sport than hockey that matters. So I agree we’re equally as passionate about the team, but I don’t blame Regier for their problems at the moment. I think he’s doing the best job he can under the circumstances.

        • 40plusyearsfrustration

          I appreciate your comments and no, I don’t hate the GM. I just don’t care for the job he has done.
          I would rather not fall into the trap of name calling and fighting I see on the boards also. It isn’t productive and just takes up space that can be used by others to debate their positions, from both sides.
          Yes, I do remember the first year and all the early days with fondness. Its amazing how hockey has turned me away from most other sports, which I now find rather boring. Although the Bandits do put on a good show.
          Here’s to a season of “Who Knows”

          • bullwinkle88

            Interesting, while hockey is nr. 1 for me and always will be, lacrosse is nr. 2. I remember once going to the Aud to see Rick Dudley play for Rochester. He was one of my favorite Sabres but he was a better lacrosse player than a hockey player. But man, was he ever dirty!

            I enjoy both the indoor and outdoor games, but there is a carnival-like atmosphere at Bandits games that just turns me off. And Gurtler’s announcing doesn’t help.

            Regarding the upcoming Sabre season, I agree that there’s not much to look forward to. I am curious to see what Girgensons brings to the table. I don’t have a lot of hope for Grigorenko for some reason. I’m wondering what Armia has, and I’m pissed off that the Sabres passed on Nichushkin. I think they’ll regret that decision in the end.

  • Troy Berkely

    More pain and no gain, like running in sand is what I describe this organizations MO. Like most Sabres fans, we hope that with the recent drafts, and rebuilding efforts that they will finally turn it around, but as the saying goes, fool me once shame on you, and fool me twice shame on me. Regier does not get a pass from me, and if I am wrong, then I will gladly eat crow! It gets tiring beating a dead horse, and so it continues.

  • Peter Martin

    I may be dreaming but I am hoping Miller will get significant playing time in the Olympics. I don’t see him matching his Vancouver performance but if he plays well then that should increase his trade value at the deadline. I think he mentally checked out of Buffalo long ago but hopefully the chance to represent his country will motivate him.