Darcy Regier will drive you to drink, pull out your hair and just flat-out will make you crazy at times.
There are some days though that will lead you to believe he might be the smartest and most calculating GM in the NHL.
It’s no secret that there are GM’s that refuse to work with Regier and say he wants too much for too little. Earlier in the day TSN on air personalities said over and over he was crazy for asking for a 1st round pick in exchange the rights to Paul Gaustad.
Well who is laughing now, Regier sent the forward and a 4th to the Preds for a 1st round pick. First round picks in the NHL can be worth gold (the Sabres will have 2). They will have 4 picks in the first 60 selections. Plenty of room to negotiate moving up to grab a solid player that can help the club immediately.
In a blockbuster deal involving the Vancouver Canuks (last year Stanley Cup loser) Buffalo sent bruising left wing prospect Zack Kassian and seldom used offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani in exchange for highly regarded young centerman Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alex Sulzer (won’t play a hair). It fills an immediate need for both clubs. In the Canuks case Kassian adds the size and toughness they desperately need to advance in the Playoffs and something they desperately needed last year against Boston.
In the case of Hodgson he was a 3rd line center in Vancouver but will immediately jump to the top line with Vanek and Pomminville. Hodgson is 22 and will help this offense now and in the long run.
The Sabres are taking a chance here in giving up Kassian but they had to bring in some offense. This trade also downgrades the notion that Darcy is not a fair GM in trade negotiations as made public in an interview with Toronto GM Brian Burke. Regier clearly gave up a lot for Hodgson. My Kassian take is that the kid seemed to have his head in the clouds. He isn’t an everyday player and gets lost in the shuffle. The Sabres have another tough winger in the system in Marcus Foligno that Buffalo believes can play the role Kassian was expected to fill.
The Sabres could be in trouble in terms of a good shut down center. Jochen Hecht isn’t returning any time soon and with the loss of Paul Gaustad this is a big loss. Gaustad played in key situations night after night, battling opposing tough guys, taking faceoffs and shutting down lines like Patrice Bergeron’s in Boston. That is a huge void and don;t have a clue who will take on that role as well as Goose.
This team should still miss the playoffs, I don’t see them pulling themselves out of the whole they fell into and I do not know if Darcy will be back despite these recent moves. Why couldn’t Darcy have made the Kassian/Hodgson deal sooner?
I am optimistic about the off season. Will they make a run at Rick Nash? Will Regier be back? He had a good day Monday but it might have been too late. My guess is he will be back next season. I think he is best fitted to be there on draft day. I’d like to see what he has up his sleeve still because at 2:30 Monday I had no idea he was going to pull these many scarves out.