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Robyn Regehr Weighing Options Before Waiving NMC

06/23/11
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Earlier today, before the Flyers set the Twitter-faring hockey world ablaze, Darren Dreger revealed that the Flames had asked Robyn Regehr to waive his no move clause (NMC) to complete a deal with the Sabres.


Early in the afternoon, Darren Dreger tweeted something no one – least of all Sabres fans – saw coming:

It sent Sabres fans into a tizzy. Regehr is the kind of defenseman that the Sabres desperately need – big, strong, durable, and mean. A fair comparison is Toni Lydman, only bigger (6’3″, 225lbs) and with more snarl. His plays a physical yet smart brand of hockey (2010/2011: 180 hits, 142 blocked shot, and only 58 penalty minutes). He’d immediately become one of the most durable skaters on the Sabres’ back end (29 missed games since the end of the lockout). He’s the kind of stay at home defenseman the Sabres need to keep the crease clear and partner with Myers on the top pair. Coincidentally, Myers’ potential new partner is also his childhood favorite player.

Besides his positional stay-at-home play and frightening hits along the perimeter, Regehr also brings with him that steady veteran presence that the Sabres really need along the blue line. He’d be the perfect partner for Myers and his free-wheeling offensive game, plus he’s an ideal mentor for both Myers and Weber in developing their defensive game and evolving their tempers.

Shortly after revealing the pending trade between the Flames and Sabres, Darren offered up more details as he discovered them:

It makes sense for the established defenseman to really weigh whether or not to waive his NMC to be traded to Buffalo. A family man, Regehr risks uprooting his wife and son to play a couple of years (or more) for a team on the other side of the continent across the 49th parallel. It’s something Jay McKee mentioned to me today, warning that if he doesn’t waive it that’s likely the reason why.

Rumored to be talking to former or current Flames teammates who have played for the Sabres, and having spoken to both Darcy Regier and Terry Pegula, it should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s sleeping on it before making a decision. However, he isn’t just holding up the Sabres’ plans by taking his time thinking it through – the Flames have other matters to attend to:

With the Flames reportedly seeking to acquire homesick Canadian hero Ryan Smyth (who has cited family reasons for wanting to return to his homeland), I asked The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein if Regehr waiving his NMC is the final piece of the puzzle that needs to fall in order for the Flames to be able to get Smyth. His answer:

It’s not known at all who is going to Calgary should Regehr elect to waive his NMC. A couple of names that have popped up are Luke Adam and Marcus Foligno. It’s also been discussed that Regehr possibly wouldn’t be the only Flame on his way to Buffalo if it happened. From the Sabres standpoint, the rights to Butler and/or Sekera would probably be the ideal foundation for this trade if only Regehr is coming back; Adam seems like he would be the foundation of a deal with more pieces coming back than leaving.

With the Sabres not giving the Flames a timeframe in which they’d like Regehr to waive his NMC or not, I expect the savvy veteran to take his sweet time deliberating on whether or not to leave the only organization he’s ever known in pro hockey. It would be a boon for the new Sabres regime to convince someone like Regehr to come to Buffalo, but given the likely factor that would be behind him possibly declining, it wouldn’t be a huge setback if he refused either. I guess we’ll find out what happens tomorrow or maybe later.

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