Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: darcy regier
Over the last 36-or-so hours, hockey pundits have dedicated a significant amount of bandwidth to dissecting the Thomas Vanek-Matt Moulson trade, attempting to discern whether either player has a long-term future with their new respective employers, or whether the New York Islanders or Buffalo Sabres "won" the trade.
In an "Ask Matty" column, I believe that the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson offers the most honest--and blunt--assessment of the trade:
Q: What do you think about Buffalo trading Thomas Vanek now and not waiting until the trade deadline? (Jeff Lore)
A: Embattled Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier did nicely to get first- and second-round draft picks and Matt Moulson for essentially a rental player, and he can use Moulson at the trade deadline to maybe get another first-rounder because he, too, is an unrestricted free-agent. Moulson, who had John Tavares passing him the puck on Long Island, will find it a tad more difficult to score goals in Buffalo with nobody nearly as good as Tavares in the Sabres lineup. Vanek is a better sniper, but Moulson is a solid NHL winger who can fill the hole for now. It’s not a deep amateur draft, but if Buffalo can move Moulson, they could still have three first-rounders in June. Question I have: didn’t the Islanders need UFA goalie Ryan Miller from Buffalo more than Vanek? Evgeni Nabokov is a middling tender, at best.
Matheson continues while answering Oilers-related comments, and I just don't know whether Garth Snow can convince Vanek to remain an Islander long-term. As ESPN New York's Katie Strang suggested, Snow made a "gamble" in removing Islanders captian John Tavares' closest on-ice pal from the equation:
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
So Sabres fans, particularly those who have been chanting, “Fire Darcy!” at every Sabres home game, it would probably be best if you got used to it. It appears now that instead of firing Regier, Pegula has handed the GM the keys to the station wagon after Regier has accidently driven it in a demolition derby.
The Sabres, it appears have made their decision. It will be Regier who trades goalie Ryan Miller. It will be Regier who ultimately fires a coach (Ron Rolston) who appears to be in way, way over his head at the NHL level and looks like he’d be more in his element coaching in the Federal League. It will be Regier who will decide whether or not to auction off the expiring contracts of Steve Ott and Henrik Tallinder at the trade deadline. Heck, if the Sabres are bad enough, maybe he’ll even deal the guy he got from the Islanders, Matt Moulson, to a contending team that needs to rent a scorer.
So the question now is, does Regier have the chops to get the Sabres out of the cataclysmic mess he himself has made? Regier has his critics, legions and legions of them, but his history also suggests he can rebuild a team as well as anyone. After all, Regier was at the helm when the Sabres were truly putrid, missing the playoffs each of the three seasons before the 2004-05 lockout, then retooled the team into one that had back-to-back 100-point seasons and advanced to the Eastern Conference final in successive seasons.
And if Regier has done one thing right in Buffalo, it has been drafting and developing players.
added 10:05am, Bob McKenzie of TSN was on the NHL Network last night to breakdown the trade, listen/watch below...
The smart move right now is to permit Regier to weather the storm for one logical reason: Ultimately, the two most important bits of business the Sabres will transact this season involve the potential trades of goaltender Ryan Miller and star forward Thomas Vanek.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail. Read on to see why Duhatschek feels that way.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Had a very interesting conversation with Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier Thursday night and no, it wasn’t about his team’s coaching situation. It began with me asking whether players’ skates are too sharp these days and went off on a tangent about equipment and safety. Clearly, Regier has given this subject a lot of thought and he doesn’t like what he sees.
“We’re in a place where protection isn’t the first priority,” Regier said. “These accidents are no longer freak accidents. They’re happening too frequently.”
Feel free to be flabbergasted by the previous statement. I know I was. All I ever hear these days is how players are now fearless, particularly when it comes to shot blocking, because they’re so well protected by the equipment they wear. But in light of the serious lacerations to Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and Zach Redmond of the Winnipeg Jets, clearly there are some spots where that logic does not apply.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
When Darcy Regier looks back at his career, he feels fortunate to be in his 16th season as general manager of the Buffalo Sabres.
“It’s a long time and I don’t feel it’s something you can ever take for granted because of the nature of this business,” Regier said. “I view myself as being fortunate, grateful. I’ll keep working at it.”
There are other National Hockey League GMs with longer tenures. Lou Lamoriello has been in New Jersey since 1987 and Jim Rutherford had a three-year head start on Regier when was hired to run the Hartford Whalers before their move to Carolina. Detroit’s Ken Holland and Washington’s George McPhee are also in their 16th seasons with the same club.
What sets Regier apart is that he has worked with the same head coach for 16 years and there are few GMs who have had to deal with as much turmoil.
Regier is a firm believer in the theory that if you hire the right person, there’s no need to make a change. That’s not to say he is opposed to change. He believes it’s important for individuals to change.
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
Is anything available at this point?
“I think we’ll probably, more than anything, look toward the trade market and see what we can do there.”
How is the trade market at this time of year?
“We’re just talking, it’s very quiet right now. I need some more guys to get back to the office.”
An upbeat question: How positive is the mood around the Sabres in Buffalo right now?
“Tremendous excitement. And with that comes expectations, but I don’t know that you’d find anybody who wouldn’t take that deal.”
From John Vogl at the Buffalo News:
Regulating hitting—and hits to the head, in particular—is among the foremost topics on Regier’s mind. He called upon his fellow GMs to ban all head shots during their March meetings. He says eliminating a small number of injury-causing hits won’t fundamentally change the sport.
“We have a tremendous amount of hitting in the game,” Regier said last week. “By the league’s own totals, there are 55,000 hits in the NHL. We’re going to end up with 110, probably, concussions in the league, plus or minus.
“To the extent you can go in and identify those hits ... ideally you’d like to remove 110 hits, but if you remove a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand you’re still left with over 50,000 hits. So for the people that claim that you’re taking hitting out of the game, I think that’s on the ludicrous side.
*hat-tip to Sportsnet.ca’s Hockey Hearsay for the pointer.
Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliott Friedman reported on Tuesday that he was recently told that incoming Sabres owner Terry Pegula would like to keep both Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff “going forward”. He mentioned it again in today’s piece about the Sabres scouting department.
I asked Paul Kukla if he could find out from the respected CBC commentator how he knew about this. Friedman’s response to Paul was that he heard of Pegula’s intentions from a “trusted source” at the Board of Governors meeting in Raleigh during the All-Star break.
Another person to keep in mind is former Penguins GM Craig Patrick. Friedman was told that Pegula is interested in bringing on the former Penguins GM in some capacity, perhaps initially in a senior advisory role with the long term goal of him eventually becoming president of the club.
Whether Ruff wants to return as coach, move up to the front office, or test the free agent market is anyone’s guess. After yesterday’s practice he simply stated that he wanted to win a Stanley Cup in Buffalo. Regier has two years remaining on his contract and told the media today that he expects to still have his job in Buffalo next season.
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC.ca:
While researching how different organizations approached scouting, several other teams ripped Buffalo’s approach. At the time, Golisano considered that self-serving, because those people stood to lose their jobs if “The Sabre Way” caught on. But, what interested me most was a common thread throughout many of those conversations. It went like this: “I’ll explain to you why video scouting is a bad idea. But, I’m not going to rip Darcy because he’s at the mercy of his owner.”
In the interview, Golisano didn’t exactly disprove that theory.
“These scouts are traveling all over the world. All these expenses, could they accomplish a lot more staying in one place with the use of video?” the owner said. “And they believe they can. If somebody interprets that as not being progressive and being regressive, that’s too bad. But we think we’re far more efficient and have a much better scouting organization than we did three years ago.”
Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Entry Draft, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: darcy+regier, lindy+ruff, sabres+sale, tom+golisano
From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com,
On the Sabres front, Pegula has agreed to buy the team for $189 million ($175 million in cash and $14 million in assumed liabilities). It’s good news for Sabres fans because the dude has deep pockets (he’s worth around $4.7 billion). But I was also told yesterday it doesn’t mean he’s going to spend to the cap every year. He’s rich because he’s made smart business decisions in his life. Buffalo remains a small market no matter who owns the team.
more, including what GM Darcy Regier told LeBrun this morning, and more Sabres and NHL ownership talk with LeBrun and colleague Scott Burnside.
Things just keep getting more interesting in Buffalo in the midst of the pending sale of the team.
From Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News,
In the wake of today’s news that GM Darcy Regier received a two-year contract extension in the fall, it was natural to ask Lindy Ruff if he received the same treatment.
Ruff pulled a shocker after Tuesday’s practice in HSBC Arena when he revealed he also got an extension offer and turned it down. Understandably, Ruff wasn’t all that interested in the line of questioning so his answers were pretty cryptic when pressed by The News on the issue.
click here for the interview.
From The Buffalo News,
It appears the Buffalo Sabres will finally announce the sale of the team to Pennsylvania billionaire Terry Pegula on Thursday. No surprise there.
But here’s a stunning transaction they’ve never publicized: A contract extension was handed out some time last fall to embattled General Manager Darcy Regier, who was widely believed to be on his way out once Tom Golisano sold the franchise he purchased in 2003.
The News has learned Golisano gave Regier a two-year extension, a deal the team has never announced. The contract’s total value is believed between $2 million and $2.5 million.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Understand, the beef here isn’t about Adam, Kennedy, Niedermayer or Gerbe in particular. It’s about management’s approach in general. The Sabres are hoping to make the playoffs, but there’s a big difference between hoping to reach the postseason and doing what’s required to get there.
Almost every move General Manager Darcy Regier has made since the lockout has been based on attrition, not competition, and money, not winning. The Sabres too often this year looked like they were going through the motions, much like Regier did last summer. Their awakening going into the all-star break could be too late.
more, including other notes from around the league…
There is a misguided notion among some Sabres fans hungry for change that the timing of the impending sale to triple-billionaire Terry Pegula will potentially put a freeze on some much needed player transactions as the February 28th trade deadline approaches. If history is an indicator, don’t fret.
Assuming Buffalo is still out of the playoff picture in five weeks, GM Darcy Regier will best serve the organization by putting on his seller’s cap and stockpiling some draft picks and prospects in what’s starting to look a lot like his final trade deadline at the helm of this team.
Regier has been in this position before, in 2003 to be exact, when Tom Golisano was in the process of saving the franchise. But while the wheels were turning behind the scenes as a transfer of ownership was slowly being completed, Regier wasn’t exactly sitting around contemplating his job status.
He cut ties with veteran forward Vaclav Varada. He parted ways with fan favorite Rob Ray. He moved Stu Barnes to tears when he dealt his captain to Dallas. And in the most brilliant execution of stratagem imaginable, he somehow convinced then-GM Mike Barnett of Phoenix that the Coyotes would be a better team with Chris Gratton than with Daniel Briere.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: buffalo+sabres, chris+gratton, daniel+briere, darcy+regier, rob+ray, stu+barnes, terry+pegula, tim+connolly, tom+golisano, vaclav+varada
With all of the media and fan obsession in this town over where the Buffalo Bills will be slotted in the NFL draft order this spring, Sabres fans might be interested to know that their hockey team is currently in line for a top 5 overall pick in 2011. The last time Buffalo was in such a position, they drafted a guy named Thomas Vanek.
With leading scorer Derek Roy likely done for the season, and with the gap from here to eighth place in the East ever so painfully widening, it might be time to start habitually looking down on the standings page instead of up.
News of the severity of Roy’s injury certainly felt like a skate boot to the stomach. And in timely fashion, disillusioned armchair GM’s are now calling for Darcy Regier to make a trade to bring in a top line center to replace him. You know, something similar to all of the other trades for top line centers that have been made around the league recently.
In the Buffalo Sabres locker room, Patrick Lalime is looked up to as someone who is revered, admired, respected, and almost any other positive adjective you can come up with. That is, except for a pretty important one - successful.
Which is why it was somewhat surprising that so many people were questioning the decision, with Ryan Miller injured, to throw highly touted goaltending prospect Jhonas Enroth into the fire for this past Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins.
You can’t argue that the 2006 2nd round draft pick stunk up the joint that night. But what followed in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win in Toronto - featuring Enroth stopping ex-Sabre Clarke MacArthur on a breakaway and stoning 4 of 5 Leafs in the shootout - was closer to what coach Lindy Ruff and GM Darcy Regier had envisioned for the 22-year old Swede, albeit a few days later than they would’ve liked.
What’s really comical about the criticism of playing Enroth is that many of these people are the same revisionist historians who bashed the Sabres for sending him down to the AHL in favor of Lalime in the first place.
Buffalo isn’t a city known for feeling a lot of heat in November, but don’t tell that to coach Lindy Ruff and his 30th place hockey team.
The longest tenured bench boss in the NHL is getting desperate, and his solutions for pulling his befuddled group of underachievers out of the ditch aren’t working. But it certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying.
He showed the captain a seat in the press box. He benched one of his leading scorers for almost an entire 3rd period with his team down one goal. He leapfrogged over his veteran backup goalie for a critical home game, with Ryan Miller injured, and started an AHL netminder with 1 game of NHL experience.
But the magic touch isn’t there. Buffalo is in danger of missing the playoffs for the third time in four years, and things are now seriously starting to unravel a bit.
Sabres fans that were booing Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson every time they touched the puck are now doing the same to Tim Connolly. Ruff’s post-game press conferences are getting testy to the point where you’re waiting for him to go Tortorella on someone.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Darcy Regier makes no apologies for being a gadget freak and computer geek, once affectionately described by Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn as “the biggest nerd in the place.” Let’s be honest, Regier has been called worse names since climbing aboard in 1997.
The Internet was in its infancy when he was hired, nothing compared to what you see in today’s modern technology. Cell phones roughly the size of refrigerators and affordable only to the wealthy have evolved into pocket-sized necessities. The iPad does everything but make dinner and fold the laundry….
Regier was the first NHL general manager to fully embrace the idea that he could circle hockey’s globe from his office.
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier is at the World Hockey Summit and will be involved in a symposium on junior hockey development this afternoon at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
Much of the discussion is expected to revolve around the Canadian Hockey League and the impact of the influx of young players from European countries. The panel will be moderated by Hockey Night in Canada’s Jim Hughson and will include such heavy hitters as Regier, IIHF Vice President Murray Costello and USA Hockey’s Jim Johannson.
“It’s very important for the hockey community to share best practices, ideas, and concerns that everyone has regarding junior development,” Regier said this morning on Toronto’s FAN 590. “There are a lot of choices out there for kids and I think it’s critical that they choose hockey over all other sports.”
As Sabres fans are well aware, the value of player development for a budget conscious team like Buffalo is a big issue to Regier. “We don’t get heavily involved in the unrestricted market, and with players becoming unrestricted at the latest at age 27, it puts tremendous pressure on junior development, and we’re very dependent on it.”
Regier also admitted that the Olympics affected franchise goaltender Ryan Miller as the season wore on. “I think at the end we did see him maybe not as sharp as he was at the top of the season. When you have someone playing that many games and with very little rest time it’s going to impact him.”
The Sabres open training camp with “Puck Drop 2010” at HSBC Arena on September 18.
Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn today announced that General Manager Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff will return next season in their current roles with the organization. Ownership is very excited to have these two individuals return to help lead the organization back to the playoffs next season.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You can’t help but wonder if Regier and Ruff are inching closer to the door with every loss the Sabres suffer down the stretch. Something needs to give. That much was obvious after watching the Sabres mope through the final 25 minutes Friday night in a 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Have the players quit on their coach?...
Regier has two seasons remaining on his contract. Ruff is signed through next season. They are the longest-tenured GM-coach combination in the NHL. Quinn reiterated Friday night that his first instinct is to keep both, but he wanted to wait until the offseason. He’ll huddle with Golisano before making a final decision.
From Eric Duhatschek in the Globe & Mail:
“People ask me about fighting and I really don’t know sometimes what I want,” said Regier. “I believe that things are going to happen over time, where I don’t think society is always going to accept (fighting).
“I see it in Canada now. There was a poll about fighting (conducted by the Harris-Decima firm, in which 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed favoured a unilateral ban on fighting, while 40 per cent wanted to retain the status quo). If you go back 10 years, I don’t think those numbers would be anywhere close to where they are right now.
“So I think it’s going to be more of a statement of the position of society – and I’m talking about true hockey fans, and their culture.”
The General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres, Darcy Regier has signed a two-year contract extension. The announcement was made Saturday at HSBC Arena by manager partner Larry Quinn and team owner Tom Golisano.
from the CP,
We’re still working and have been on the phone this morning and will continue to work,” Regier said Wednesday, a day after signing Patrick Lalime to a two-year, US$2-million contract to back up starter Ryan Miller. “We’re still exploring, really looking for a defenceman, so I remain hopeful.”
What encourages Regier is that rather than reaching out to players’ agents, as he did Tuesday when the NHL’s free agency period opened, agents are now calling him.
“That for me is positive news,” Regier said. “It tells me that players are looking at it and saying, ‘Hey, Buffalo would be a nice place to play.’ It tells me that it’s a possibility.”
more on the Sabres…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Sources across the gabby NHL contend that Regier isn’t the primary reason the Sabres have lost so many players in recent years. Add up all the talk behind the scenes, and you see a pattern that suggests his own bosses are his biggest obstruction. Basically, he’s made the right call on players, only to have his decisions vetoed.
Understandably, Regier wouldn’t touch the subject with surgical gloves when reached last week. There was a sense he had become so accustomed to accepting blame that he didn’t know how to react when it was directed toward owner Tom Golisano, managing partner Larry Quinn and, to a much lesser degree, chief bean counter Dan DiPofi.
“I’m the general manager,” Regier said. “It’s my job. You can put it all on me. It’s OK.”
Jason Kay of The Hockey News is banging the drum of what seems to be hockey journalists’ favourite pet project—proving that the hockey media “knows what the fans want” by convincing the NHL, through the sheer will of proffering a stance, and bolstering it through endless iterations of the same damn column, to make bigger nets a reality, given the collective theory that more goals = a more entertaining product.
from the Buffalo News,
“Goalies have to get smaller or the nets have to get larger,” Regier said. “That goalie has to get significantly smaller for the likelihood of an outside shot to go in. If we can’t make the goalies smaller, then I don’t know what other options we have but to consider making the nets larger.”
He added that if the nets get bigger, it must be a significant increase. He argued that just a small bump would put teams into a bigger defensive shell. That’s the leading cause of the scoring dip. Coaches have begun crowding their five skaters near the net, which rids the shooters of their open lanes.
“Most goals are probably scored within 30 feet,” Regier said. “So it argues that if you can defend that area and protect that area, then you’re less likely to get scored against.”
from the Buffalo News,
Is the Sabres personnel that was so successful in the wideopen NHL still suitable in a league that features tighter games?
“We ask ourselves that question,” Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said Tuesday. “I think it is.
“We can [adapt]. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn as we go and maybe make some minor personnel changes down the road or stay the way we are, but yeah, we can be all right. We’re heading in the right direction now. We’re not getting the results, but we’re moving in the right direction.”