Now that I have your attention... It’s only in my dreams that this were real headline. Several moves were made today by the Buffalo Sabres, and it’s just simply mind numbing the way that these things went down. I would have written this sooner, but I decided that I needed to watch a good hockey game tonight. So my wife and I went to the Rochester Amerks game.
Disclaimer- If you’re a fan of Darcy, don’t read this.
Ok, you’ve been warned.
Now, I have to deal with the reality of an inept general manager for the Buffalo Sabres (Remember, I warned you!!).
First and foremost, I’m going to look at the decision to send Mikhail Grigorenko back to Quebec. However, it comes too late in the season, and costs the Sabres money.
I’d like to say that this is the right decision. Unfortunately, he should have been sent back in January 2013, after 5 games.
I’m all for giving Grigorenko his 5 game tryout back at the start of this 48 game season. However, let me be the first to say, he didn’t earn his blue and gold jersey. Grigorenko didn’t do anything that warranted him staying in Buffalo. After 5 games, he should have been sent back to Quebec. Plain and simple.
Then, look at the line combinations that the Sabres had to pair Grigorenko with. At the start of the year, there just wasn’t enough depth to give him the support he needs. Grigorenko shouldn’t be playing with John Scott. He should be playing the other offensive minded forwards, who are able to support him and compliment his style of play. I feel that Grigorenko should have been given a chance with some of the more offensive players on the team. I think management would have gotten a better idea as to what he was capable of had that happened in the first 5 games of the season.
But, it didn’t.
Which brings me to the financial aspect of this. Buffalo has just wasted a year of Grigorenko’s contract. It makes it worse that this is a shortened season. Especially since he doesn’t have the support he needs on his line, keeping him in Buffalo was a waste. Grigorenko would have been given more time to mature in Quebec had he gone back sooner. More importantly, it gives Regier... Wait let me start over. It would give a competent general manager time to make a move or two to get some players to play on Grigorenko’s line. With a player like Grigorenko, you have to build around him. You don’t just throw him on a line and pray for the best. There has to be a plan. Players need to be brought in to support his style of play. Playing him with John Scott is the equivalent of the Mona Lisa being put next to one of my kindergarden art pieces. It’s just not logical. He’s not the type of player, who will succeed regardless of who is around him. He needs line mates who are offensively minded and talented.
This whole situation with Grigorenko has been mishandled from day one. He should have been sent back to Quebec after 5 games, saving the first year of his entry level deal. Instead, a year of his contract is wasted, and there’s more work to now undo instead of giving him a chance to flourish with better line mates. Since Buffalo clearly wanted him to play this year, Regier should have planned ahead of time and tried to bring in a player or two to support him.
Again, something a good GM would do.
Which now brings me to the Brennan trade.
I got the text from my mom while I was at tonight’s Amerks stating that Brennan had been traded to the Florida Panthers. Then I saw that it was for a 5th round draft pick. I let out a loud “You’ve got to be kidding me!!!!!” (There was a child sitting next to me, had to keep it G rated). A guy 2 rows in front of me turns around and says “Brennan??”
Oh to get inside the mind of Darcy Regier.
First and foremost, a 5th round pick? A young defenseman with a lot of talent, for a 5th round draft pick? Did Regier think “Wow, a 5th round draft pick?!?!” and just pounce on it. He could have at least gotten a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick for Brennan. Here’s a new word for Darcy’s vocabulary, it’s called negotiate.
Plus, right now Regier should be trying to unload some cap space. Instead, he’s trading away one of the players who is low budget, and who I feel was one of the future players of this team. I personally think Brennan deserved a chance to play at the start of the lockout, and he never got that chance. However, one thing that I keep coming back to is..
He traded Brennan for a 5th round draft pick!!!!
I hate to think of what he’ll trade Pominville, Vanek, or Miller for. I half expect him to come out and say “Look Buffalo, I traded Thomas Vanek for some magic beans!”
Buffalo has long lacked a GM who has been able to accurately assess talent, and be able to do what’s best for the team. Regier has continued to undervalue players, and overpay others, and slap band aids on a team that continues to struggle, instead of accurately and realistically assessing his team.
The time to rebuild is now. However, in order to do so, the general manager needs to think long term and plan accordingly (Grigorenko), and not trade away players that are the future of the franchise (Brennan). Personally after today, I’m dreading the trade deadline. Whoever takes over for Regier after he gets fired, and he will get fired, is going to have a big mess to clean up in Buffalo.
Right now, today adds to the ever growing list of reasons to can Darcy. I feel that Pegula may really need to take a realistic look at his team, and think about the direction the Buffalo Sabres are headed in.
It does not look good right now.
Follow me on Twitter (those of you who made it this far)- @SabresBTB