As general manager, Darcy Regier has been a face of the Buffalo Sabres for over a decade — but so was former coach Lindy Ruff.
The Sabres struggles over the last two seasons have been so out of place with expectations that it led to Ruff’s firing. Should it also be what ends Regier’s tenure?
So far, it doesn’t seem like it will. Regier has been allowed to facilitate the start of a rebuilding effort that involved trading away Jason Pominville, Robyn Regehr, and Jordan Leopold.
Now Sabres president Ted Black has stepped into Regier’s corner despite the fact that Buffalo is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the seventh time in 11 seasons.
“My opinion of Darcy is based on my work history with him, which is two years,” Black said. “That’s how I judge him. I think the opportunities that he’s had, whether it be through free agency to the trade deadlines and the draft, I think he has done well in each of those instances.
“That doesn’t mean that I think Darcy has built a championship team right now since we’ve bought the team. I think he has used those opportunities to improve us.”
The standings don’t reflect that improvement. At the same time, Regier was able to acquire, in addition to other things, some high-end picks for the players he traded. On top of that, Buffalo has more valuable trade chips in Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller if they decide to take the rebuilding process a step further over the summer.
Regardless of whether or not Regier stays around, perhaps years from now the trades he pulled the trigger on will be seen as the start of what was a successful rebuild.