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May 1, 2013

DUVALL: Darcy Regier has worn out his welcome


Tonawanda News — What I can’t understand is why Regier is still the guy to make those decisions.

This will be the Sabres’ third attempt at rebuilding under Regier’s tenure. Of the teams he’s assembled only once were they a legitimate contender to win the Stanley Cup. They made the finals in 1999 on Dominik Hasek’s back but were outclassed and overmatched. In 2005-06 they came roaring out of the lockout and were within a period of advancing to face a weak seventh seed in the finals when a rash of unprecedented injuries to defensemen finally caught up to them.

The following year the team won the President’s Trophy for best regular season record but faded down the stretch and got their tails handed to them by the Ottawa Senators in the conference finals.

So really, they’ve had three memorable seasons out of 16 in Regier’s tenure. 

He’s now been the face of failure through three different owners and three different coaches. 

His penchant for speedy but too-small, inconsistent forwards and meek teams that are easily intimidated have turned a lunch pail town’s team into one with a reputation as a bunch of weak, loser pushovers. 

Regier’s incompetence has so thoroughly permeated this franchise Terry Pegula’s promise of building a Stanley Cup contender that once had fans dreaming big now seems perfunctory. Players like Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford who once seemed filled with potential now look like washouts with bloated contracts signed on a wing and a prayer.

Regier has shows an ability, once in a while, to pull off a nice trade. He got good return in dealing Jason Pominville. He plucked Danny Briere out of obscurity and he blossomed into a legitimate star. 

But for a generation that is defined far more by the franchise’s failures than successes, there is now only one constant: Darcy Regier.

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