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Regier Received Secret Contract Extension Last Fall, Ruff Turned His Down

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Some recent developments at HSBC today have sent Twitter into a frenzy, so I thought they should be discussed here as well. Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News learned today that Sabres GM Darcy Regier was offered and accepted a secret two-year contract extension that would keep him in Buffalo until the 2012-13 season. The contract's total value was estimated between $2 million to $2.5 million.

Why this information was unpublicized by the Sabres is anyone's guess (and I'm sure you'll have plenty in the comments) but it seems like a shady thing for an organization to do, especially when you have an unpopular GM like Darcy Regier. Regier's contract was set to expire at the end of this season, giving his detractors hope that the embattled general manager might be let go. When asked about the situation, minority owner Larry Quinn said "I'm not going to confirm that today" (the emphasis is TBN's.)

If you're like most Sabres fans, your first reaction when you read that headline was probably something like this. But upon further reflection, it really doesn't matter all that much to Terry Pegula and the "New Sabres," because if Pegula doesn't want him, he's rich enough to buy out Darcy's contract without thinking twice about it -- remember, Pegula will be the second richest NHL owner once he takes control of the team later this month. 

The story becomes even more intriguing when Lindy Ruff was asked about the extension, and revealed that he too had been offered a two-year contract extension by the Sabres, but had turned it down. Ruff's contract is also set to expire at the end of this year, and his future has historically been tied to Regier's. Head after the break to hear what the Sabres coach had to say about his future.

Ruff's answers today were a bit cryptic, but it does appear that his turning down the extension doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't want to stay with the team. All quotes are from Mike Harrington's article on the Sabres Edge blog - kudos to him for some fine reporting - check out his article about Lindy Ruff right here:

In the wake of today's news regarding Darcy, did you get a contract extension in the fall?

"I did not, no."

Were you offered one?

"Yes I was."

Did you reject it?

"It's a situation that really I'd rather not talk about. It's nothing to do ... They were gracious in what they offered me."

So your contract goes through this season, correct?

"Correct."

Do you want to stay?

"Yeah, I want to stay."

Have you told Terry Pegula you want to stay?

"No. We had a conversation about hockey and that's as far as I'll go."

 

Very interesting developments, indeed. What do think Sabres fans? Should we be worried about the secrecy of this announcement? Does this bode well or ill for Lindy and Darcy? Let's hear your thoughts.