Well, that was a crazy two days. I wonder if the Sabres were thinking about flying in Jim Gray to ask Regehr where he was going to play next year? "It's been a hard decision, but I've decided to take my talents to South Lake Erie."
Yup, the Regehr watch is finally over. It's pretty funny that the whole sports world in Buffalo stood still to see if this guy would waive his NTC. God, we are such a crazy sports town...or a bunch of weirdos :P
Anyways, here are 5 things about the Regehr deal that are worth mentioning:
5) This is exactly what I wanted for our blueline. I wanted what Craig Rivet was suppose to be when he came here in the summer of 2008. A veteran presence, who has the battle scars from Stanley Cup Finals and playoff pasts. He's a gritty guy, who can block shots (142 last year) and has been viewed as a team leader in a market that values its hockey players. In other words, he's use to pressure. Besides Mike Weber, the Sabres lacked a physical presence at the blueline last season. They were also too young for their own good, with management shortchanging the value of what vets like Lydman and Tallinder brought to the table. At only 4-million bucks, he's a steal for them. Again, he's a bridge-gap type of player, who can help out the younger kids like Weber, Myers, Gragani and Sekera. Only slight red flag is that he's over 30. If he's a physical player, you would think he'd start to wear down eventually. Lets hope this isn't the same case as to what happened with Craig Rivet.
4) This is old-school Darcy Regier! This is the GM that I use to get into fights about on twitter, about how he was handcuffed by ownership. We gave up ziltch for Regehr and Kotalik. The deal reeks of Grosek for Dumont and Gilmour, or Audette and Heinze for draft picks. The strategy is simple, you find the crappy teams that are in the process of rebuilding and you pretty much treat them the same way as liquidators would treat Nicolas Cage's estate. You take as much as you can, because they are desperate. Since Pegula has taken over the team, DR has completed two trades in which he has given up a 2nd round pick, Chris Butler and Paul Byron for Brad Boyes, Regehr and a 2nd round pick. Again, this is old-school Darcy. John Rigas must be smiling somewhere in his 8x8 jailcell.
3) The only thing I can say about Kotalik is that it was a classic case of Calgary looking to dump salary. You want Regehr for just B&B? Well, you gotta take Kotalik's 3-million dollar salary. Also, as Mike Harrington alluded to on twitter, Lindy loves Kotalik for some odd reason. Don't forget, he picked Kotalik over Dumont in 2006. I'm NOT thrilled with him on the roster, as he hasn't done much of anything since he left Buffalo. Hell, I didn't even know he was still in league. Because of Ruff liking him, I think they will give him every opportunity to make the club. It will be hard, because the Sabres are so deep at wing. I don't know, but I still can't see a 3-million dollar player sitting in Rochester. Maybe that's Golisano/Quinn still rubbing off on me. The best we can hope for with Kotalik is that we buy him out, he gets traded, or he goes back to his 10-15 goal production that he had during his final years in Buffalo. Then again, didn't those seasons add to why we hated him?
2) THIS DEAL DOESN'T HAPPEN UNDER GOLISANO! You think Tom and Quinn would take on 7-million dollars in contracts and only give up the rights to someone? Please. Also, give a shout out to Pegula and Lindy Ruff for flying to meet Regehr. You think the old regime would do that? I can picture what Golisano would say, "First off, we already have a Regeir on our payroll. Secondly, do you know how much fuel costs are these days? And third, why would I on take on salary if I know the dude will probably be in Rochester by October?" It's a class run organization that Pegula is maintaining. I'm sure Terry had some sort of infomercial made for Regehr, detailing the architecture, the cheap brews, and chicken wings of Buffalo. It probably closed with a message from the Pegulas: "We love you Robyn. Please come here!" Trust me, if it took Regehr 48 hours to figure out what he wanted to do, the little things and the attention to detail that Pegula enforced on the deal, mattered a lot!
1) I think the Sabres need to put Regehr with Myers. To me, it's a no-brainer. You get the veteran defenseman, who can take Myers by the ear and explain to him what it takes to be a pro. He's an alternate captain and will only help groom Myers into a leader. People talk about the captaincy a lot, which I get kind of bored by, but, from what I've heard, Myers has potential to be Captain material. A lot of fans thought Myer's sophomore slump was due in large part to losing a veteran like Hank. If this is the case, then why not put him back with a veteran player who is better than Tallinder? I think both guys would offer diversity as a pairing. Myers can skate better and is better offensively, While Regehr is a physical presence, who can get dirty along the boards. It's a good duo IMO.
I would have to say that two of Regier's best trades came during the 98-99 season... Barnaby for Stu Barnes (simply because I loved Stu) and trading Mike Wilson, a huge 1st round bust, for Rhett Warrrener and a draft pick that turned into Ryan Miller. Or maybe the Briere trade with Dallas.. another big win.
But I completely agree with you on putting Regehr with Myers. I would want him facing the opponents number 1 line... which is where Myers will play. Also gives Myers more "free range" knowing he has a guy like Regehr behind him. Plus, the step that Regehr has supposedly lost from his game can be countered by Myers awesome skating abilities.
Pegula flying out to see them personally is awesome. Every other fan of any other team in the league has to want an owner like Pegula (heck, the guy grew up a Sabres fan and used to regularly attend games, true passion). Of course, results will really talk, but so far, he's brought onto the staff the two guys (black and sawyer) behind the Pens' cup (one of which was the former NHL CFO- Sawyer), totally renovated the team locker room, hosted the 2nd ever NHL franchise reunion, hosted a pretty cool bloggers' summit, personally flew out to secure a great prospect, bought the Rochester Americans (our former and soon to be once again AHL affiliate), and has clearly made the point that Buffalo is the place to be for hockey. I don't think any of us could have imagined a better first 8 or 9 months. Can't wait to see what else happens this week in free agency and next season!
There is also the fact that he held that rookie combine in Buffalo that the scouting staff and coaching staff have wanted to try out for some time. Pegs just walked in and said... "you know what would be a good idea to try..." Thats a man that is dedicated to winning, to building a winner. That takes some serious coin to attempt and HOPE that maybe your staff will learn something. And guess what? A few of our draft pics were at the combine.
@brendan.d.mcintyre Yeah. They didn't "need" to buy the Amerks, but, it made sense for them to do so. Im sure Regier mentioned it to him and he was down with it. They are cleaning up this organization, which is a good thing.