Kukla's Korner Hockey
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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.