Robyn Regehr: One Big, Nasty Domino


He’s sleeping on it.

Robyn Regehr has been with the Calgary Flames for a long, long time – since 1999, in fact. Yesterday, his agent let him know that he had been traded to Buffalo.

Regehr put his phone, his agent, the Flames, the Sabres, and the fans of both on hold.

You see, Regehr has a “no movement clause” in his contract which states, upon a trade, he has the power of veto.

The story that unfolded on Twitter was a sight to behold – will he accept the trade? Who might we be sending to Calgary in return? What Regehr brings to the table for the Sabres is formidable. For more on all of that, head on over to “Black & Blue and Gold” and read Phil’s post.  As usual, you’ll be glad that you did.

Readers of BSN know all too well how important it is that the Sabres “veteranize” their defense if they are to win a Cup, so adding a stud like Regehr has me already looking forward to losing sleep as I await his decision.  He’s 31, but losing sleep is justified over a guy like this – his 180 hits and 142 blocked shots would have lead the Sabres in both categories last season. Oh, and for all of those hits, he only went to the sin bin for 58 minutes.

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He's smart, he's mean, and he's clean. And he can fit a helmet over those ears.

One of the reasons I’m going to be awake a bit longer tonight is how his decision could affect the near future of our team. He’s a top-paired defenseman who was looking forward to his 13th year with the same team (and as Phil points out, a family man to boot), and that is a lot to ask a man to walk away from.

He’s talked to Regier. He has talked to Pegula. The entire NHL knows this now.

If he decides to give it all up to come here, he will come as a blinding beacon that Pegula and the New Sabres are for real. He changes the UFA landscape on July 1st, when free agents consider which team they think – which team they believe that they can win a Cup with.

He is the first domino of the Pegula Era.

If he decides to stay with Calgary instead – a team out of the playoffs since 2009 – well then, it’s safe to say that no one is eager to jump into “Hockey Heaven” just yet. We can all pretty much park that bandwagon back in that dusty old garage, save for some saving graces that Phil brought up. (Just hit the link, folks. This window will remain open.)

What makes this more of a turning point for Pegula is the presence of abounding rumors that there are three or four other teams interested in a trade for Regehr’s services, if he so chooses to elude the Queen City. Rumors are rumors, but if his big ears turn away from Pegula, “Hockey Heaven,” and our three year plan at the Cup, then the brunt of elite UFA talent will likely do the same.

It wouldn’t be the end of the world.

We’d still just be sort of stuck at the beginning.

Go Sabres.

See Also: “Stanley Cup 101: Sabres Cup Hopes Hinge on Bolstering Defense

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