Earlier this week, it was announced that the Buffalo Sabres would be retaining their GM of 16 years, Darcy Regier. Somehow, Regier lives to trade another day even after the Sabres missed the playoffs for the second straight year. The fact that he wasn’t fired must mean that Regier has a really good plan to rebuild. Or is the modern day Rasputin.
After Lindy Ruff was fired earlier in the season, many believed that Regier would soon follow as both had been so tied to the other’s hip. Instead, Regier will enter his first offseason ever without Ruff as the head coach. And with the Sabres entering a full rebuild, it seems like Regier will be around for quite some time.
Sabres owner Terry Pegula must have liked what Regier had done at the trade deadline. In a whirlwind of activity, Regier traded Jordan Leopold, Robyn Regehr, and Jason Pominville for a cornucopia of draft picks in both the 2013 and 2014 NHL Drafts. Regier also received two prospects in the Pominville deal. These draft picks join the Sabres’ own draft picks to help rebuild this team as quickly as possible without relying too heavily on free agency.
Throughout the season, rumors persisted that the Sabres were also willing to trade Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, their two best players. Perhaps, Regier keeping his job means he has some trades already worked out involving these two players. Miller especially doesn’t seem too optimistic about his future, as he has said multiple times this season that his fate is up to Regier. The curious stretch of poor play Miller had as the Sabres were fighting for a playoff spot, and Miller’s subsequent benching, could have been brought about by Miller receiving some bad news – although that is clearly speculation.
Regardless, Regier must have been able to woo Pegula with his plan to rebuild the team. Pegula didn’t lack for incentive to fire Regier after this season after many of Regier’s free agent pick ups a couple years ago have yet to pan out and forced Pegula to back track on his statement after buying the team that the Sabres would be contending for the Stanley Cup in 3 years. However, Pegula decided that the clock had not yet struck midnight on Regier’s tenure if Buffalo. It will be very interesting to see what Regier has in store in the first offseason of rebuilding.