Darcy Regier, general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, has made small acquisitions over the past couple of years hoping that they pay dividends. It's no different than a gambler heading out to a horse race and placing a little amount of money on the animal that nobody expects to win.
Should you reap the rewards of such long odds, the pay-out is indescribably enormous. Regier should feel good about himself with the form Buffalo has shown and the team work that has them atop the Northeast Division. An off-season signing, Steve Montador is adjusting according to the needs and wants of the organization.
At just over $1.5 million dollars in payment, the rugged defender has been a nice find hitting anyone in front of him, fighting in crucial moments and delivering a tad bit of offense to boot. I doubt we'll witness anyone run over Ryan Miller without suffering the consequences. Go ahead Scott Gomez, try your luck twice.
Starting with Calgary back in 2002, Montador has represented five different teams over his career and three in the span of a year. A couple of things about him that have stood out so far besides what I mentioned earlier: he's taken 36 shots or 13 more than the rest of the Sabres defensive corps. Throwing pucks at the net is never a bad idea and the Buffalo rearguards would be wise to attempt more themselves.
I've already noticed Montador jump into the play casually trying to make an impression. The 22 penalty minutes he has received are sixth most on the team and Paul Gaustad is the only regular to have gotten more majors.
Why is that good? Well, this team has been bullied because of their lack of size before and Montador isn't the type to stand for that kind of abuse. And lastly, versatility puts him in line for several duties seeing as how he even utilized the role of a forward in his days with the Panthers.
If you'll take a look at his answers from the emails of fans, Montador makes it abundantly clear that he expected and hoped for such a large workload upon joining Buffalo which is what he's gotten to this point.
Having taken heat for not loosening his wallet a bit more as he could have, Regier should get full credit for bringing Montador aboard because his tools can serve the team well. Scoring and goaltending have been two stronger suits for the Buffalo Sabres usually.
Character is what we lacked and Steve Montador has loads of it.