Darcy Regier

Sabres prez: Regier will be back as GM

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Darcy’s back.

That was the story out of Buffalo on Monday as GM Darcy Regier and president Ted Black addressed the media, with Black confirming Regier would be back for his 17th year on the job.

Regier, the Sabres GM since Jun. 1997, was thought to be on thin ice after disastrous back-to-back campaigns.

The Sabres haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010 and a number of Regier’s high-profile acquisitions have failed to pan out.

In fact, it could be said things have gotten progressively worse as Regier’s tenure has gone on.

This season marked a series of lows for the Buffalo organization:

— Longtime head coach Lindy Ruff was fired

Steve Ott ripped the fans

— Captain Jason Pominville was traded

— Former Vezina-winning goalie Ryan Miller was visibly frustrated throughout the year

But, for lack of a betterm term, Regier now has a chance to clean up his own mess.

He’ll head into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft armed with two first- and second-round picks, and also has the opportunity to either extend the contract of interim head coach Ron Rolston — or go in another direction.

On Monday, Regier said he will meet with Rolston soon to evaluate the season and decide what direction the Sabres want to take behind the bench.

Rolston finished the year with a pretty decent record (15-11-5) and said he’d like the opportunity to come back and build on what he started.

“I think we’ve made progress,” Rolston told the Buffalo News. “I’m not happy that we’re not in the playoffs. We needed to do a better job there, but we made some progress I think as a team. We played better down the stretch in terms of the success that we’ve had.”

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?

Bruins pay warm tribute to Milan Lucic

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Milan Lucic may or may not spend a big chunk of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, but the Boston Bruins haven’t forgotten his contributions.

(Their fans haven’t, either.)

The Bruins shared a tribute video for Lucic, decked out in a loud, retro-style Kings sweater on Tuesday. The hulking winger seemed to appreciate the nod from his former team, and also acknowledged fans who watched him develop into one of the league’s most formidable power forwards.

(H/T to the Score by way of The Hockey Beat for the video.)