Niagara Gazette

April 1, 2013

Sabres deal Regehr to Kings as NHL deadline looms

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette —

The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for two second-round draft picks in 2014 and 2015.

The defending Stanley Cup champions announced the deal on their Twitter account late Monday, saying the trade is contingent on Regehr passing a medical exam.  The Sabres confirmed the deal on their Twitter account a short while later.

With the National Hockey League's trade deadline arriving at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier was expected to be among the busier bosses in hockey.  He has declined to rule anyone, including goalie Ryan Miller, as untouchable on an underperforming roster.

Declining to rule anyone, including goalie Ryan Miller, as being untouchable on an underperforming roster, Regier is expected to be among the league's most sought executives in advance of the NHL's trading deadline Wednesday afternoon.

It's Regier's second move in less than a week.  On Saturday, he traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to St. Louis in exchange for two draft picks.  Other players acknowledge they could be next.

"I don't think any guy would be surprised," Myers said. "I think we know there's action going on right now. And whether it's going to fall through or not is a matter of Darcy and the GMs."

Miller, leading scorer Thomas Vanek and captain Jason Pominville have all been mentioned in trade speculation. Struggling forward Drew Stafford, in the second year of a four-year $16 million contract, is also on the trade block.

At 13-17-6, Buffalo sits 13th in the Eastern Conference with 12 games left. The team's in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for a second straight year and for the fourth time in six seasons.

Buffalo's already in transition after longtime coach Lindy Ruff was fired in February after a 6-10-1 start. And the switch failed to put a charge into a team that's 7-7-5 under interim coach Ron Rolston, and 0-2-2 in its past four.

The Sabres are having difficulty holding third-period leads, which they've squandered a league-worst 10 times, and have six times blown two-goal leads, according to STATS LLC.

Their special teams are struggling, too. Buffalo's power play ranks 29th, and has allowed an NHL-high six short-handed goals. The penalty-killing unit is hardly better, ranking in a tie for 27th.

Not at all close to what was expected of a team owner Terry Pegula vowed would become a bona fide contender after he purchased the Sabres a little more than two years ago. He then backed his words by committing nearly $140 million in salary to add talent and re-sign players before the 2011-12 season.

"We're really struggling coming up with a 60-minute effort, and it's been the case not only this year, but we struggled with it last year and also the year before," Myers said. "I'm definitely frustrated. I'm sure everyone else in the room is frustrated."

Pominville, who has a partial no-trade clause in his contract, said it's Regier's job to make an attempt to improve the team.

"It doesn't mean that everybody's going to be gone. But it means that he's got to listen," Pominville said. "Wayne Gretzky got traded, so anybody can get traded. It's part of his job to listen and make the best decisions."