Niagara Gazette — Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black and general manager Darcy Regier sat down with the media for their annual end-of-season press conference Monday afternoon at the First Niagara Center, putting the disappointing 2012-13 season out of its misery.
The Sabres (21-21-6) finished 12th in the Eastern Conference (22nd overall in the NHL) and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. The team is now playoff-less in two full seasons since being purchased by Terry Pegula, and the lack of success led to the firing of 16-year head coach Lindy Ruff and questions about the job security of Regier, who took control of the team with Ruff in 1997.
Black was asked about Regier's status to open the press conference and confirmed that he would remain in control of the team through the draft and into next season. The two then preached a slight shift in organizational policy, talking openly about the possibility of taking a step back to build a Stanley Cup contender in the future.
"We're in a process right now of trying to rebuild, reboot, revamp, whatever 're' word we are comfortable using, that started with the last draft in 2012," Black said in reference to Regier's refusal to admit to rebuilding following the trade of captain Jason Pominville at the trade deadline.
"You have to pay the price to win the Stanley Cup," Regier added. "That hasn't always been the goal. You have to suffer or (rebuild) to acquire top players. Not every franchise is willing to do that, so you satisfy yourself and the fan base by making the playoffs, but you have to do more than that if you want to win the Cup."
The Sabres may be well on their way to paying the price. They've got four picks in the top 55 (Nos. 8, 16, 38, 55) of June's entry draft, as well as the youngest roster in the league after dealing veterans Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold and Pominville at the deadline.