Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Darcy Regier has turned his attention to the future after trading away three defensemen in recent weeks and stockpiling draft picks. We’ll see what Regier has up his sleeve leading into today’s NHL trade deadline. I’m sure he’ll convince Pegula & Co., that he has the answers moving forward even though his team has gone backward.
Barring a miracle, the Sabres will miss the playoffs for the second time in two full seasons under Pegula and the fourth time in six years overall. They had the eighth-highest payroll in the NHL but were 26th overall before playing the Penguins. It’s not working. Forget contending for a title. The Sabres making the playoffs is laughable.
It was evident long before he traded Robyn Regehr. The veteran defenseman was once considered such a valuable commodity that Pegula traveled to Calgary and talked him into waiving his no-trade clause and climbing aboard. In less than two years, with unrestricted free agency looming, he became disposable.
“We’re really going to look toward building this team not just to move it into the playoffs but to go deep into the playoffs,” Regier said. “No one is quite sure of the time line, but we’re certainly going to focus on next season.”
As Dave Davis of The Sabres Observer at KK noted, Robyn Regehr has been traded to the LA Kings.
Follow The Sabres Observer for all the details on the trade.
note 10:07pm, Trade will not be official until Regehr takes a physical.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold from Buffalo in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft.
Leopold, 32, has dressed in 24 games for Buffalo this season posting eight points including two goals and six assists to go along with 14 penalty minutes. Overall, the 6’1, 206-pound defenseman has appeared in 10 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons between Calgary, Colorado, Flordia, Pittsburgh and Buffalo accumulating 202 points (65 goals, 137 assists) and 268 penalty minutes in 610 career games.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Regier sees a bottleneck in the trade market but expects it to release.
"There’s things going on in the background, but I think what happens is teams generally have an order in which they would like to acquire players, so the players in front have to drop before the other moves take place," he said. "It’s bottlenecked right now, but I think it’ll open up as we get closer to Wednesday."
Regier declined comment regarding his players with no-movement clauses, specifically captain Jason Pominville and goaltender Ryan Miller. Pominville can submit a list of eight teams he would not want to be traded to, and he said today he has not been asked for a list.
more on the Sabres...
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
He’s in his fourth NHL season. There’s talk of moving the veteran core of Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and Ryan Miller. Myers is the new core, the future, the presumed superstar who was supposed to be the foundation of the franchise.
But do you build a team around a defenseman who isn’t tough to play against, who comes out mentally soft after a great rookie year or a lucrative new contract, who leaves his goalie out to dry on far too many occasions, and who played his worst with his coach under fire?
What do you say, I asked Myers, to the idea that it’s not enough to be good, that you need to be great?
“I just feel like you’re putting more pressure on me,” he said. “No, I’m satisfied with good. No, I’m not. I think any player would want to move up with how they’re playing. It’s only natural if you want to get better, so I’m not worried about finding it again. I know it’ll come.”
Yep, just watch Patrick Kaleta against Coton Orr and also in the same video, Frazer McLaren takes on John Scott.
See the penalties given out below...
Patrick Kaleta talks after practice today.
Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard of Sportsnet think so...
note 2:32pm, Dave Davis of The Sabres Observer at KK posted the same video as I did, so instead of seeing it twice, you can watch it here.
from Mike Harrinngton of the Buffalo News,
“I’m pissed off. I want to play,” Kaleta said. “And especially after watching some things, sitting there watching the game, I want to play. They don’t need me right now, I guess. I’ve been pissed off watching for the past couple weeks. No matter if you’re a fan, a player, you guys know what’s going on.
“You should be pissed off. You should play with a little piss and vinegar. You shouldn’t be happy. We’re not in position we want to be in. We have to work harder, come in and do something about it.”
Kaleta spoke after taking extra drills with fellow healthy scratch John Scott. No other players were in the locker room to hear the Angola native question if the team wants or needs him at this point. As the media was talking to interim coach Ron Rolston, multiple observers said Kaleta was howling in anger on the ice while finishing his work.
The locker room cauldron bubbled even more after the game when goaltender Ryan Miller was asked about Kaleta.
“He’s being dramatic. We’re not discussing what Patty says to you guys,” Miller said, anger flaring in his eyes. “That’s just drama and he needs to just grow up if he’s going to say that.
“You know what? He had a stupid play in a game. He sat, he was punished. He has to get over it and move on. We handled it. He doesn’t have to go to you guys and say that stuff. There, I’m addressing it right now.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,.
The word coming from Camp Pegula offered this frightening possibility: Regier surviving the season. Ken Sawyer, one of Pegula’s top advisors, has told people he believes Regier is a “hockey genius.” It’s enough to question Sawyer’s credibility, especially after Regier signed a contract extension for missing the playoffs.
At some point, usually when their bank accounts are full but dreams are unfulfilled, players start searching for a title anywhere they can find one. Miller, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville each have one full season on their contracts before they’re eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Miller will turn 33 this summer. Pominville turns 31 in November while Vanek turns 30 next January. They’re not the innocent, energetic kids who emerged during the 2005-06 season and climbed aboard a playoff ride to remember. All three have been superb in a miserable season. All three could help a playoff team.
It would be painful, but the Sabres should consider trading them in a lost season and maximize their return. It beats losing them for nothing or getting less back next season. For now, they remain valuable assets.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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