It is very hard for me to rant about Darcy Regeir. I think he has done a very good job considering the mess the Sabres were in last year, and now this year. The one thing I wish I could illustrate to him though, is that it is not always a bad thing to ink a player to a long term deal. Long term not being 3 or 4 years; I'm talking about a franchise player, 5 or 6 years.
All of you who see potential pitfalls with this type of deal have a lot of reasons to feel the way you do. However, I would like to point out that I would have some prerequisites before signing a player to this type of a deal. First, I would make sure the player is, and has been happy for the previous 2 or 3 years. I say previous 2 or 3 years, because I think that is how long a player should be in your organization before committing to this type of deal. Second, does this player have the gumption and the intangibles that makes me believe they will not play half a** because they are no longer in a contract year. This is something that is not an exact science, its based on a gut feeling. As a GM, you ought not be around if you can't trust your gut at times. Lastly, is this player a franchise type player?
I think Danny and Dru both fit these criteria, and I wish so badly that Darcy had locked up Briere before the season following the lockout. Funny isn't it, how a large monetary deal doesn't seem so large 2 years later when all the insane offers start popping up come free agent time. When will Regeir realize that you are saving money by locking your franchise player up long term? A six year deal is not at all insane to consider when talking about the aforementioned players. Its called making a player the face of your organization!
Two more years from now we will be in another big mess. Ryan Miller? What will a goaltender be getting paid then? Why couldn't we have locked up our franchise goaltender last year to a 6-year deal? We would save more by signing him to a 6-year, 30 million dollar deal, than we would by signing him to a 3-year, 10 million dollar deal, while hoping to resign him again. Please Darcy, bring Danny or Dru back, and MAKE THEM OUR FRANCHISE PLAYER!!! Let them retire as Sabres. Is this too much to ask?