Most professional sports teams are very picky about their general manager and for good reason: these executives hold all the keys to the success of any franchise as well as its complete and total destruction. When a general manager isn’t doing his job well, he’s fired. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. So when a team signs its general manager to a contract extension when he doesn’t deserve it, eyebrows are raised and not in a good way. It turns out, that is exactly what the Buffalo Sabres did with incompetent general manager Darcy Regier.
The Sabres have missed the playoffs in three of the last five years, but none of those campaigns was more disappointing than the 2011-2012 NHL season, which expected Buffalo to be not just a Northeast Division contender and not even “just” an Eastern Conference Contender; the Sabres were expected to contend for the Stanley Cup, but they didn’t come anywhere close to sniffing hockey’s most coveted prize.
Now, the team’s collapse in November and December of 2011 certainly wasn’t Regier’s fault; he only brings in the players, he doesn’t coach them. However, every member of an organization will look to the general manager when a team loses as much as Buffalo did in those two months, especially after they put together a tremendous run in the following months. However, they still fell short of the postseason and Regier did absolutely nothing about it heading into the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season. So why did he get an extension? Your guess is as good as mine, but it was a bad move by anyone’s standards.