Welcome to the first installment of the DBTB Mailbag, our way of taking the questions we get from our readers and fellow Sabres fans, and turning them in to answers. If you've got a question for us, you can shoot us an email at askDBTB@gmail.com to see your question in the next mailbag.
Why is Darcy Regier still the GM of the Sabres?
- Mike G.
This is probably the question I've gotten more than any other, and the best answer I can come up with short of a telepathy session with Terry Pegula is that because for every argument you can make against him, you can make another for him, save one (which we'll get to in a second). For every bad deadline deal, there's a good one to counter with. For every poor free agent signing, he's inked a Sekera or an Ehrhoff deal. For every middling second round pick that didn't quite pan out you can counter with Miller or Gaustad. Heck, even if you want to argue that he botched the summer of 2007, that can be countered with an argument that Tom Golisano played just as big a role in that debacle. This gives a pro-Regier argument plenty of ammunition to defend the Sabres GM with, and is, I believe, a major reason why he's shown the incredible longevity that he has.
One of the argument that can't be fought against, however, is Regier's playoff record. Since 2001, the Sabres have missed the playoffs in seven out of eleven seasons. As a pair of [opinion redacted] WGR hosts love to point out, that's a terrible showing for a league in which over 50% of the teams make the postseason.
Even so, Regier's job appears to be safe as long as Pegula trusts him. Now, as we saw with Lindy Ruff, that could change quickly, but the fact that Regier wasn't also released along with the long-time former Sabres coach means that he'll likely stick around for at least another handful of seasons, like it or not. Hey, he's already preparing us for a few years of suffering, so it's not like they can fire him if the team stinks next year, right? He's already warned us!
What position should the Sabres draft with their first pick in Round 1? Forward? D? Goalie?
- Rob S.
I think the Sabres would be smart to go forward first, as their stable of upcoming forwards is solid, but still lacks much of that assured star power that Darcy Regier mentioned in his season ending press conference. Aside from the ultimate potential of Grigorenko, and possibly Armia, none of the stable of Girgensons, Larsson, Catenacci, Flynn, or Foligno is likely to be the bona-fide first liner the Sabres will need once Thomas Vanek is gone. This draft is also much more stocked at the top with quality two-way forwards as opposed to last year's draft which was all about the blue line in the first 10 picks.
On defense, there are still a few highly thought of prospects such as Mark Pysyk (who we ot a glimpse of last year) and Jake McCabe in the system, and the Sabres future along the blue line is more clear thanks to the long-term deals of Myers and Ehrhoff.
As for the net, with Jhonas Enroth, Matt Hackett, Linus Ullmark, and Andre Makarov in the system and all showing promise, my head would explode if they took a goalie with any of their first three picks in this draft.
If I may finish here by teasing for another day - you can decide for yourself when we post our updated Sabres prospect depth chart tomorrow.
Do you have a question for the mailbag? Email us at askDBTB@gmail.com to have your question answered next time.