Saturday, July 5, 2014

Darcy Regier and his seeds scattered in the wind

Reprinted with permission from

Former Sabres GM Darcy Regier signing on with the Arizona Coyotes, and like seeds flying in the wind, he and his former core landed all over the place the last few days.

Regier signed a multi year deal to become Senior Vice President and Assistant GM in Arizona. He'll have his hands in every aspect of the hockey operations department.

'Yotes GM Don Maloney has known Regier for a long time and considers him "his closest friend on the management side of the NHL" according to Sarah McClellan of

Said Maloney of the hire, "He's done it all. If you think about the experience he's had over the last 17 years in Buffalo, everything from great success, Stanley Cup final, bankruptcy, coming out of that. There was a point at the end where there were limited resources. So there's nothing he hasn't seen or done or tried."

After many tumultuous years the Coyotes look to be financially stable. Regier knows tumult unlike any GM in the NHL has shown that he can work through it. He also has done very well with a limited payroll.

Seems like a pretty good match.

Other former Sabres who have new addresses:

Thomas Vanek--It was no secret that the former Sabres LW'er had his eyes fixed upon Minnesota this off season. Sure enough, Vanek inked a 3-year deal and joins former Sabre Jason Pominville on the Wild.

And there's also a bit of a Miami Heat "Big-3" superstar thing going on as well.

Vanek took less than market value to sign with the Wild joining Minnesota native Zach Parise and Ryan Suter who's wife is from Minnesota. Both Parise and Suter were signed to identical 13yr./$98M contracts on July 4, 2012. Ironically enough, they both received their final singing bonus of $5M each on the day Vanek signed with the team.

Vanek, Suter, and Parise all work out in Minnesota during the off-season and Vanek's wife is also from the state and they both  live there in the off season.

Ryan Miller--The man who drafted Miller, Jim Benning, was hired as Vancouver's GM in May.

Benning was head amateur scout under Regier in Buffalo when Miller was drafted 138th overall at the 1999 draft.

It proved to be one helluva pick as Miller's highlights would include a Hobey Baker in 2001, an Olympic MVP for the silver-medal winning 2010 USA team, and the 2010 Vezina Trophy.

Miller was kind of floating around in limbo after a failed run by St. Louis, the team the Sabres traded him to. And even at 33 yrs. old he still has some good hockey in him, which is something Benning is banking on.

After the goaltending fiasco in Vancouver where the 'Nucks went from two #1 goalies in Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider to rookie Eddie Lack in one year, Benning brought in Miller as a stabilizing factor.

The Canucks are looking to get back into the playoffs this year with Miller carrying a large portion of the goaltending duties. Prior to the 2013-14 season, they had made the playoffs six years running.

Vancouver has Lack, who's just entering his prime at age 26 and they also selected Boston College sophomore Thatcher Demko in the second round of the draft this year. Demko was considered the best goaltender in the draft by many.

Miller, whose work ethic and preparation are unquestionable, will be a mentor to both.

Christian Ehrhoff--Sabres GM Tim Murray came to the conclusion that it would be best for both parties if the veteran, puck-moving defenseman and the team parted ways.

Murray used a compliance buyout on Ehrhoff.

The beneficiary of this move was the Pittsburgh Penguins. At least for one year as the team signed him for $4M.

Ehrhoff should really see his production ramp up as he'll be logging first unit powerplay minutes with players who can create space.

One of the most appealing aspects of his game is drifting into a hole on the powerplay and launching an accurate shot that often lands in the back of the net.

The Buffalo Sabres never had the personnel to create that space.

Guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will soon remind Ehrhoff of the Sedin twins in Vancouver. In two years with the Canucks he tallied 12 powerplay goals. In three seasons with the Sabres he had three.

John Scott--The 6'8" enforcer once dubbed "The Kraken" (in reference to Clash of the Titans) is now with the San Jose' Sharks.

Scott was brought on board to protect Regier's core. Unfortunately, the enforcer role is heading the way of the dinosaurs and regardless of his presence, the team was still a pile of wimp.

Murray knows that he needs kahunas from all of his players and expects fourth line role players to contribute on the score sheet.

Even though Scott had one more goal that Ville Leino's zero, that wasn't enough for Murray.

Nor was Scott's locker room presence.

The big guy showed a fun-loving side that no doubt helped the team get through one of the most dismal seasons in Sabres' history.

Scott will be headed to the Sharks to, seemingly, add more spine and a large dose of lightheartedness to a group suffering from the pangs of repeated failure in the post season.

Kevin Porter--The Rochester Americans captain and part-time Buffalo Sabre is taking his never quit, fourth-line/AHL talents to the Detroit Red Wings after signing a one-year, two-way deal.

Good for him.

Porter's a heart and soul kinda guy who unfortunately is a bit on the smaller side at 5'11" 194 lbs.

Seems like a great fit for the Wings, and a golden opportunity for a quality individual like Porter.

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