DON’T GET ME STARTED waited until the 3 p.m. trading deadline to see what the GM is going to do.

If anyone read Buddy Gleason’s column in the Wednesday edition of the Buffalo News, they would have agreed with everything he wrote about the woes of the Sabres and Darcy Regier, began pointing fingers at the top.

Buddy, as did all Sabres fans, wondered who else was going to be let go.  So far, three defensemen have departed – T.J. Brennan.  Jordan Leopold to St. Louis and Robyn Reghr to the LA Kings.  That’s three defensemen.  If anyone can recall the woes of the past few seasons, much has been said about “protecting” Ryan Miller in goal.  So who goes?  Defensemen.

Three names were mentioned prominently before the trading deadline:  Ryan Miller; Thomas Vanek; and Jason Pominville.  Those names will continue to remain with the Buffalo Sabres, as will the rest of the squad.  Add Drew Stafford to that mix as he was one of the first players mentioned that would not be a Sabre next year.

Just before the deadline, the report came out that the Sabres traded productive and popular captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild for center Johan Larsson and goaltender Matt Hackett.  Larsson is 20 years old and played in only one game this season with the Wild.

The Sabres will also receive Minnesota’s 1st round pick this year and a 2nd rounder next year.  However, if Minnesota continues to do well this year, the first rounder will be lower in the draft.

Hackett is 23 years old and has played in 13 games for the Wild with a 3-7 record, 2.64 goals against average and a save percentage of .914.  Does that send a message to Ryan Miller?  And, certainly, letting the team’s second leading goal scorer depart is a message that perhaps the Sabres don’t feel good about the playoffs this year, while other teams loaded up with big name stars to help them in post-season play.

Both players were basically in the minors so far with limited NHL experience.  Minnesota made out in the deal.  They are tied for the top in their division and certainly Pominville will be a big help.  He is durable, an excellent power play specialist and will add leadership in the locker room.

Make no mistake about it.  This is Darcy Regier’s team.  He’s the one who brought the current team in; he’s the one who brought others in and then dispatched them to other teams.  It seems his main strength is playing musical chairs.

Now it’s re-building time, going after youth.    After what – 16 years – it looks like it’s rebuilding time.  Montreal did it in one year.  Pittsburgh didn’t take long to produce a big winner.  Look at the Winnipeg Jets.  They didn’t do much in Atlanta, but since the move are now leading the division in Winnipeg this season.  And you can go down the list.  And Buffalo?  Going in the opposite direction and now re-building, going after youth.  Look at what rebuilding has done to the Buffalo Bills.  They haven’t been to the playoffs for well over a dozen years, and seem to once again be in a rebuilding mold.  High scoring forward Thomas Vanek said he would not look forward to a rebuilding process.

But it seems evident that Darcy Regier is looking toward the future as he picked up a couple of young players while letting go 30 plus players……and their higher salaries.  As any hockey expert will note, very young players take a few years to develop and aren’t that expensive.  Pominville counted over $5 million against the Cap.

It looks as if next season it will be the “Buffalo Kids” – Porter – Flynn – Larsson – Gregerinko – Adam – Ellis – to go along with Vanek – Ott – Stafford.  Certainly Jochen Hecht doesn’t fit in with the plans and has likely finished his season (and maybe career) with the Sabres.

Owner Terry Pegula has put his faith in Regier but fans feel that this faith was ill-placed.    Regier has guided this franchise to being out of the playoffs for far too long.  Yet, he was rewarded with a contract extension.  So WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GOT.

It’s interesting how most everyone praises Ryan Miller.  Why?  Ask not.  He has not led the team into post-season play along with Regier.  Here’s something to look at with the less-than-average goaltender in terms of his stats:

In goals against this season, Ryan Miller is 35th among all goalies with a 2.83 goals against average.   Craig Anderson of Ottawa and Corey Crawford of Colorado lead the NHL with under 2 goals per game.  Johan Hedberg of New Jersey is 30th in the league with 2.73 which is better than Miller’s 2.83.

Ryan Miller is 23rd in the NHL with a .912 save percentage among all goalies.  Anderson has a .952.

So Regier, who implied that everyone was available sat in the observation chair and made the one deal, albeit not anything that would help the Sabres this year, or even in the near future years.

I wonder how many took a look at Miller’s stats and put a big nix on bringing him to their clubs.  After all, he’s in his early 30s, and his salary cap hit is reportedly over $6 million that would make interest wane.  He also seems to have regressed from the time he was anointed with the Vezina Trophy.  His numbers have been going south.

So Darcy Regier did what he usually does.  Make a few subtractions, receives AHL type players in return, avoid the additions that were absolute busts in the past couple of years and for whatever reason, continues to “impress” Terry Pegula and Ted Black where they give him contract extensions.

One thing remains clear with owner Terry Pegula.  He stated he would listen to the fans.  For far too long the fans have spoken loud and clear to part company with Darcy Regier but Pegula isn’t even hearing the continuing echoes of that sentiment.  Maybe the light will flicker after this woeful season on Don’t Get Me Started.

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