It’s interesting to learn that after two weeks since the NHL trade deadline has come and gone, reaction and insight continues to come in from across the league. The latest comes from Elliotte Friedman of CBCSports.com who reports on the Buffalo Sabres situation and how they chose to hang on to goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Tomas Vanek.
Leading up to the deadline both Miller and Vanek were rumored to be on the trading block. That much was true as Sabres’ GM Dary Regier would have moved both players had he been offered the right package. But that never happened reports Friedman.
Friedman goes on to look at what it took for Regier to part ways with forward Jason Pominville, a trade that I easily give to the Sabres for winning. They acquired two prospects with huge potential along with first and second round draft pick from the Minnesota Wild for one player. Any team that was sniffing around on either Miller or Vanek would have surely had to unload more than that for either player.
The report goes on to mention that Regier stopped short of confirming it but gave all indications that the Sabres will try and re-sign both Miller and Vanek this summer before losing them for nothing like he did Chris Drury and Danny Briere.
There has been a lot of low lying chatter that Regier could be fired after the season for the Sabres disappointing start to the season that left them with an uphill battle all year to get back in the playoff picture. But when you read Friedman’s report on this and sit back and realize that Regier played the trade deadline perfectly and now has the opportunity to secure to cornerstone players, maybe his value to the organization is greater than most thought. Maybe firing Lindy Ruff and getting a new voice in Ron Rolston was the right move, one that needed to be made after last season ended?
Looking at how Regier improved his team by one single trade is impressive. By not dealing either Miller or Vanek we’ll never know what kind of landfall return he could have gotten, but maybe the trade that never happened is the best one of all.
Next year will tell the tale for the Buffalo Sabres and at that point we be saying that Darcy Regier is one of the games best GMs.