Time for Darcy Regier to Show Some… Guts

(WECK 1230) — A couple days back The Buffalo News ran an article with a lot of quotes from Darcy Regier. It made the general manager seem to be his old patient self, content with his players… which he very well may be.

Then comes today’s piece by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun which takes my particular brand of umbrage to the next level. The article talks about teams waiting to see what the market will be and general managers like Regier planning on waiting until the day or two before the deadline to act.

– “Most of us have players that we would make available even right now for a trade, either because they’re underperforming and/or overpaid,” Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier told us this week. “But it’s impossible right now to get an agreement on values. We’re all hoping that we’re going to be able to just charge a cost without taking anything back, and that’s not reality. So I think, yes, we’re all sitting around to the last day or two again [before the trade deadline].”

– “We’re getting a lot of pop out of our young kids,” Regier said. “Older players that we all believed in when we signed them aren’t performing at the levels that they’re capable of, or maybe we misjudged it. In some part, I think we could be selling veterans if we can sell them because we like what we see in our youth. I think it’s going to be really interesting.”

There are several things to take away from these quotes. For one, Regier doesn’t care if he reinforces the reputation that he falls in love with players he drafts. Two,  it appears he’s admitting he has players he’d like to move, which is a nice departure from his normal stoicism.

The larger issue at stake is that Regier is admitting that GMs are still playing the “ideal” game and will be for a while before the market is set. It’s also as certain as it gets that that underperforming/overpaid combo fits the Tim Connolly bill.

So my guess would be Regier wants to move guys like Connolly, and that there is a market for such a player. What makes the situation more interesting is that the Sabres have made a push without their first-third MVP, Derek Roy, and with Ryan Miller posting numbers well off the Vezina precedent he set in 2009-10.

Regier just has to do it. Since December I’ve used my radio show and this space to say this team’s playoff goose isn’t cooked. The Sabres have a dog in the hunt in a bad division and worse conference. Montreal beat them to the jump a few weeks back when they acquired James Wisniewski to help fill the void left by their sparkplug, Andrei Markov. With Roy out until at least April, Regier had a look at addressing his need and making a run in a horrid Northeast group. So far, he’s balked.

Unlike the market for Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek, Regier has a chance to set the market for once. He can decide how high he would go to acquire, say, St. Louis’ David Backes, or how low he’d go to move a player that’s hurting the room or payroll.

Come the deadline, if we hear Regier say “the market was too steep” to bring in players that could help him, it will be his own fault. There’s no question. We also will not be able to complain about his being aloof, or that he’s not learned from his mistakes in the past. He stated in the quotes that someone will set the market.

Again, here’s his chance.

Email: nickonweck@gmail.com

7 Responses to Time for Darcy Regier to Show Some… Guts

  1. Gavin says:

    As I wrote this Summer, the last time Darcy had a chance to do something:

    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. Vance says:

    Reads to me that he’ll be looking to ship out Hecht, Niedermayer, Grier, Rivet, and Connolly. If they don’t feel they can make up those 6 points to 8th place; then get the 2nd rounder for Hecht; move the old men for picks so we can move up in the draft. Have no problems with that. Right now we sit in the 6th slot (tied at 51 with C-Bus, Blues); what would it take up to move into that top 4? Being able to grab Nugent-Hopkins, Courturier, Larsson, or Landeskog would be huge; and imo; doable.

  3. TheTick says:

    Forget making up those 6 points, those deals are no-brainers to make even if they are bearing down on the division title. Any chance to dump dead weight should be taken at this point.

  4. Olga Tennis says:

    Regier doesn’t “set the market”. A team has to agree to trade with him. You don’t just trade for the sake of trading. Going in with the mindset of we MUST trade our 1st rounder will probably make your team stink.

    I know you Sabre fans are antsy and ready for Hope and Change, but you don’t win a Cup with in-season trades.

    Any chance to dump dead weight should be taken at this point.
    That’s what you’re trading for, as well. Unless it’s draft picks. And most of you kids will rip Darcy a new one if he does that, as happens every year.

  5. Craig says:

    Obviously, the Sabres don’t have a Crosby, but 08-09:

    “On February 26, the team traded defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks in return for Chris Kunitz. Before the trade deadline on March 4, they acquired Bill Guerin from the New York Islanders. Under Bylsma, the team went 18–3–4, including 10–1–2 in March, and lost only one home game.”

  6. Olga Tennis says:

    Guerin was a rare exception to the rule. Like Briere was. Those are the trades Darcy tries to make, and he gets yelled at for it.

  7. [...] It’s irresponsible to verbally crucify any general manager for not dealing yet when a move could be announced any moment and render any critical opinions moot… unless you’re someone like me who advocated the oft-insecure Regier should set the market himself. [...]