Great worries about the “new” Regier

(WECK 1230) — Sabres general manager Darcy Regier met with the media after his team’s disappointing exit from the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs and vowed to do things he hadn’t in a long time, if ever.

The front office expressed the need to show more tenacity, to get guys willing to reverse what Pat Kaleta called “a lack of desperation.”

I was sold. Regier’s job could’ve been lost because of the loss to Boston, but there were too many variables. For one, the injury to Thomas Vanek, who scored in both series games in which he appeared. The other? Missing Jochen Hecht for the entire series. No, you can’t discount a loss because of the injuries everyone faces, but perhaps it was enough to save Regier… for now. Surely Regier would use the desperation of draft day for good. I just knew a new Regier would make a deal.

Not to jump the gun with several days left before the start of free agency, but a couple things have come out of Regier’s mouth that have intimated “same old, same old.”

First, Regier told a local radio station that he had two of the top 20 centers in the league, a statement that is not only arrogant, but patently absurd. On “The Late Nick Mendola” program Friday night it took Chris Ryndak, Mike Cline and myself all of five minutes to name 20 centers we’d rather have than both Derek Roy and Tim Connolly.

Then, after the first round, Regier reasoned his lack of activity with this quote:

“There were a lot of conversations over the last few days about players being moved, and it didn’t happen. Maybe the ask was too high. Teams in some cases were looked for first round picks for players that everyone knows they are either in a cap situation, a tough spot. I think it’s good they didn’t get off the hook by collecting a bunch of first round picks cause I don’t think that’s beneficial certainly to teams like us.”

These were reused, recycled and ugly words, to be sure. Regier had reduced his inactivity to the same sort of vindictive garbage we’d heard in the past. Read the quote again. It sounds like sixth-grader gleefully seeing the popular girl get detention. “I’m so glad the daring teams didn’t get rewarded for taking risks last year.”

It’s same old, same old, same old, same old and it’s very frustrating, maybe even disturbing. Yes, Regier can do something in the next few days to make this entire post look like a meaningless rant, but those two statements have me believing they’ll sign their Montador and Grier of the 2010-11 campaign and vomit the same old “marketplace caught us by surprise” baloney.

Reading between the lines, it seemed Regier had the chance to pillage a team in desperate need of salary cap relief. We don’t know which players the Flyers, Blackhawks or whoever else was offering, but if that 23rd overall pick was enough to help pry Jeff Carter, Patrick Sharp or another component away and he didn’t because of principle? In the words of wise Chuck Barkley, “That’s just terrible.”

Here’s the thing, Darcy. Now No. 23 has a name: Mark Pysyk. And if you get fired because the team flames out in the first round again, you won’t ever reap the benefits of said selection. But if, in five years, some other Sabres GM oversees Pysyk’s rise to NHL All-Star, you’ll be able to sit in your rocking chair and know that you were right in the long run.

The clock is ticking.

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4 Responses to Great worries about the “new” Regier

  1. I agree, Nick.

    While I feel ambivalent about the player picked in the first round, I strongly feel that the Sabres should have used the pick to bring a roster player to help the team this season. Pysyk is meaningless on a team that constantly professes to be on the cusp of a championship run. If you are that close, Mr. Regier, then improve your roster for today, not tomorrow.

    But, in retrospect, even that thinking is flawed. Do we want Darcy to make trades? His trades over the last three years have been mediocre at best, abysmal at worst. Steve Bernier? Dominic Moore?! Raffi Torres?!! These players did nothing to improve the team. Craig Rivet has been the best of the bunch, but even he has been at best a mild disappointment.

    I do not trust Darcy to make the team better through trades. I think it will become evident that he no longer trusts himself, and he won’t make a single important move. He said himself he’s looking more to add than trade away players. This is because he has a known quantity with his players, but has no clue what to expect with anyone he brings in. “Why trade away someone I can trust to play a certain way for someone I’ve shown in the recent past I have no real ability to assess?” That will be Darcy’s way of thinking and he’ll plug the holes with marginal free agents and prospects.

    I’m prepared for another wasted year unless Miller has another career season and Myers shrugs off a sophomore slump. Only the players currently on the roster can make this team better, because the front office has no clue.

  2. If Regier does not make several significant additions to the Sabres, I don’t think they will even make the playoffs. The other teams in the East are all improving themselves. So far, the Sabres’ management has done nothing to improve the team that lost to a pathethic Boston team in the first round of the playoffs.

  3. Regier is in a tough spot. His players arn’t good enough production wise to make up for the lack of intangaibles. This makes them so much harder to trade up in a player for player kinda way. Adding upper level draft picks makes it to expensive for Darcy to compromise a team who isn’t all that deep in the forward department besides Ennis. If we do indeed have 2 of the top 20 centers, then the market should embrace at least one of the 2 players in the leagues most important position.

    What I don’t understand is the overflow of defensemen the sabres are now housing as a result of draft(3 with the first 3 picks). Yes trades can be made, but it would take a lot of prospects to get a player of the caliber that we need, now. This says to me regier is again thinking about the future.

    We don’t have the cap to sign anyone important so this team is again the same team it was for the last 5 years…minus Danny B and Chris D.

    It is a tough spot, but Darcy put himself there. I cant help but wonder if Lindy has made him look good at times.

    sorry 2010…The 2011 season is our year.

  4. Question: Can a front office that lacks desperation accurately pinpoint players who possess it?

    I’m guessing no.