Sunday, March 4, 2012

February 27, wasn't the only deadline for the organization

There's another deadline tomorrow at 3PM for the Amerks. But more on that in a bit.

We're nearly a week removed from the 2012 NHL trade deadline, and the Sabres are making some noise by stringing together three west coast victories putting them two points out of the 8th spot in the east.

It's a far cry from January when the team was in the midst of a franchise record 12-game losing streak and they had a 0.3% chance (according to sportsclubstats) of making the playoffs. It's a far cry from early February as well when the team went on a four-game winless streak and looked to be cooked once again.

Even last week, the moves that Darcy Regier made at the trade deadline, especially Paul Gaustad and a 2013 4th-rounder for a 2012 1st-round pick, had the look of a retool.

Safe to say that almost everyone was looking in that direction.

Kevin Oklobzija covers the Rochester Americans for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. And he was thinking the same thing when he wrote this about Regier, "The best part of what Regier did today," he wrote, "He made a very realistic assessment of the Sabres’ chances to earn a playoff berth and knows they’re probably done. He’d never say that, but the deals indicate that was his thinking."

Oklobzija breaks down the day along with "Regieran" attributes that happened to work, like holding out for a first round pick for Gaustad. The bottom line:  Regier, the "Texas Hold'em player," landed his "pair of Jacks" on the draw. He moved a 7th-round pick for a first rounder, landed a top-six center with skill, but lost grit and toughness, the latter a move that was necessary.

Unbeknownst to a lot of hockey fans (myself included) the AHL deadline is 3pm tomorrow. Oklobzija forsees the possibility of some moves for the Amerks, especially with the number of defensemen on the team.

According to Oklobzija, Regier will be on a conference call today with Amerks Head Coach Ron Rolston, Assistant to the General Manager, Mark Jakubowski and Head of Amateur Scouting, Kevin Devine.

Oklobzija says that "While Regier has the final say on all matters hockey within the organization, Devine oversees operations in Rochester. (Yes, he needs an amendment to his job title; his duties span well beyond just amateur scouting.")

It's not something that's official on the registrar, but Regier referred to Devine as "our Director of...Assistant General Manager who still oversees our scouting," on WGR two Friday's ago.

The Amerks are looking to bolster their team for the playoffs. After a win last night at Toronto, the Amreks are one point out of the final playoff spot. A mere two points separates the #6 seed and the #11 seed right now.

It will be interesting to see what Devine does at his first "trade deadline."

Another interesting note that came out of Oklobzija's article was that the Sabres put in a waiver-claim on the Minnesota Wild's Brad Staubitz. An undrafted free agent signing by the San Jose' Sharks back in 2005, Staubitz has got some size--6'1", 215lbs--and had some attitude ta boot. Montreal, who had the worse record, made the claim and received the services of Staubitz. He is a free agent at the end of the season.

All-in-all a great week for the Sabres organization with Regier wheeling-and-dealing, the team pulling off an improbable three-game west coast win-streak and the Amerks looking to bolster their roster for the stretch-run to the playoffs.

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