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Darcy sits down with the Buffalo News and Explains a Few Things

John Vogl of the Buffalo News sat down with GM Darcy Regier to talk about a few things that have happened in the offseason and what to expect in training camp and the preseason. 

On Drew Stafford

"I spoke with his agent yesterday, and we continue to work on it," Regier said. "It’s cordial, amicable. Everyone is trying to work toward getting an agreement done, and we’ll do everything we can to get him signed prior to training camp. That’s certainly the direction we’re working in."

Getting Stafford signed by the time camp starts has to be the main priority of Regier and company.  Stafford is a good player and while he had some issues last year he is still young and has the potential for being a top six forward.

On Mark Mancari

Mark Mancari, a restricted free agent, is interested in finding a new home. The big winger has been in Buffalo's minor-league system the past four seasons, but he's aware there's a logjam at the forward position with the big club. Mancari has lobbied for a chance to play somewhere in the NHL.

"We’ve worked on that, but to no success, and so we’ll continue," Regier said. "We’d love to have him as part of the organization and have him in training camp, but right now we don’t have a contract."

Mancari has never impressed me in his time as a Sabre.  He has had plenty of opportunities to make it with the Sabres but in ten games played he has only registered one goal and two assists.  Considering that he is still a restricted free agent, there may be options to try and move him for some assets.

On Trading 

"No, not right now," Regier said by phone. "The conversations over the summer, we’ve talked about players with other organizations, but I think now the teams have taken, to a large extent, [the philosophy of], 'We’ve got this group, and we’ll go into camp and assess things as we go through training camp.'

"I think it’ll remain fairly tight. I think you’ll see some movement between the start of training camp and the start of the season – either through waivers or the switching of players from one organization to another in an attempt to either give the organization or the player a fresh start – but generally I think that the available dollars or the ability to find a trade partner, the difficulty of it will continue."

Basically, in this case the glut at forward is only going to be resolved at camp and whoever must go down will.  It also means that players like Gerbe and Kennedy will have to at least start the season in Portland.  Honestly, the idea of those two waiting in Portland is a good thing because they were only rookies last year and I personally feel that they may need another season of seasoning in the minors.

On playoffs

"It can," Regier said. "We’ll get some help from the youth, whether it’s Portland players or draft picks that will contribute to it, but this is still a group that we feel strongly about and look to start with the playoffs."

I believe Regier when he says this instead of just believing that he is spewing the company line.  This team is mainly the same when it won the Presidents Trophy minus a few veterans.  Now that this team has grown on its own and started to create a voice, they should be able to be strong enough to make a charge at the playoffs.