3 Reasons Why Ya Can’t Fire Regier…Yet
Darcy Regier was fired last night.
In your dreams.
But when you woke up, he was still here, and when you hopped on the Twitters, you saw that he squashed the Pominville Welcome Back Show that the organization had put together. That’s some weird unreasonable grandpa/dictator stuff going on there.
You want him gone. You want something new. Something with a clear agenda coming into the rebuild. Unfortunately, you’re screwed, because there are 3 big reasons ya just can’t get hang him by his old hockey skates yet.
1. The Gaustad Trade
How big a thing are faceoffs now in the world of puck possession and advanced stats? Goose, we loved you, and your ability to win faceoffs while doing a split was hilarious while at the same time awe-inspiring, but we did get a 1st round pick when we shipped you out of town with a 4th rounder.
Result: the Gaustad trade ultimately translated into Zemgus Girgensons. Selected 14th overall in 2012, Zemgus serendipitously donned #28, and became our new Goose (GUS) – but with far more offensive and two-way upside.
2. The Pominville Trade
We miss Jason – and so we should. After all, he was one of our most consistent players (on some very inconsistent teams) for years. He was drafted and groomed in our hockey town, became our captain, and then was gone. But boy, Darcy netted more than a GM hat-trick for ol’ #29 (and a 4th rounder).
Result: this trade landed the Sabres a puck possession wizard/potential future captain in Johan Larsson, a potentially strong starting netminder in Matt Hackett, plus a 1st round draft pick (the punishing and steady Nikita Zadorov) and a 2nd rounder in 2014.
3. The Vanek Trade
Vanek left us as one of the greatest Sabres ever to lace up the skates for the Blue and Gold. Still…
Result: Buffalo landed the speedy sniper Matt Moulson, a 1st round draft pick in 2014/2015 (contingent on the Islander’s standings at the end of this season) and a 2nd rounder in 2015. It is widely believed that Matt Moulson, a pending UFA, will be moved at the trade deadline for a pick or three as well, so this trade may still bring extra dividends for the long term future of the franchise.
BONUS: The Derek Roy Trade
We’ll throw Derek in here too, because he was part of that old, “soft” core, and was generally loathed by the fanbase. He hasn’t done much of anything since he left Lindy Ruff’s 1st line. Where is he now? Who cares. He’s gone, and we don’t have to fret over whether or not anyone at the FNC will have a big Welcome Back Derek project killed at the last minute by the big boss.
Result: Steve Ott and Adam Pardy. In essence, this trade was all about #ToughToPlayAgainst. Though Ott may lick a guy here and there, he came into town and immediately injected some forceful energy into the Sabres’ lineup. It doesn’t hurt that he can play on top lines, either. It also won’t hurt to find out how many 1st rounders we get for Steve at the trade deadline this year. My guess is a 1st and a 2nd. Pure speculation, but you get the point: good value all around here.
Love him or loathe him, Darcy has been fleecing the pants off of other GM’s throughout the dismantling process. With a bevvy of picks and new prospects, the Sabres rebuild has started off with promise.
But – this doesn’t mean that Darcy has to finish the rebuild.
There isn’t any reason any other GM candidate can be flown in post (or even pre) trade deadline, to pick up and work with the foundation of picks that Darcy may leave behind. Herein lies a big chance for Pegula to show his brass that he’s got some brass of his own. Unless Pegula truly believes that Darcy can pick a Cup winning rebuild program and stick to it, there are plenty of great candidates out there to turn this big tank towards the ultimate victory.
Darcy’s done a heckuva job, and his job is safe – as it should be – for now.
But with the work he’s already done for the rebuild, one could say he’s done more than enough. It might be time to be a little greedy, and a little cutthroat. It might be time to do whatever it takes to get the very best talent possible to win those multiple Cups.
Unless, of course, Pegula truly believes Darcy is the guy.