February 22nd will be remembered by Sabre fans as the day the Terry Pegula bought the Buffalo Sabres. Tom Galisano turned over the key to HSBC arena along with a key for a cage that held his poodle, Darcy Regier. Pegula unlocked the cage and out came a charging, foaming from the mouth, Cujo. Mr. Pegula then gave his new pet a nice new chew toy – his wallet.
Darcy Regier has worked for owners such as John Rigas and Tom Golisano. Neither of which were like Pegula. Rigas and Golisano couldn’t offer the kind of resources and/or will to win that Pegula can, and is. Darcy was forced to build an NHL caliber team on limited resources and a strict budget. Always criticized for moves he made or lack thereof, Regier quietly built: an Eastern Confrence Championship team, a President Trophy winning team, and a team that went to the Eastern Confrence semi-finals two consecutive years in a row. Not too shabby for the budget he was constricted by.
With Terry Pegula running the show and throwing unlimited resources at his new team, we’ve seen a new Darcy Regier. Trading for a past 40 goal scorer in brad boyes, defensive stalwart, Robyn Regehr, and top 4 D man, Christian Ehrhoff(then threw a 10yr 40 mil contract at him), then he opened the check book for Ville Leino(who I believe will thrive with this team). Now this team looks poised for a major Stanley Cup run. Buffalo now has an uncharacteristic 2nd highest payroll in the league with 3 or more players left to sign. A trade seems imminent. Will Darcy pull off another Chris Gratton for Danny Briere gem? Or will he look to make a blockbuster trade and get his team a much needed number one center? Can’t forget the time he traded a few rolls of tape(Mike Wilson) for Rhett Warrener and a 5th round pick that turned into a guy named, Ryan Miller.
Thank you Mr.Pegula, for taking the leash off of our GM.