The longest-tenured general manager in the National Hockey League isn't going anywhere.
The Buffalo Sabres announced Saturday they've given a contract extension to Darcy Regier. Terms were not disclosed.
Regier became the Sabres' GM in 1997. His teams have won two Northeast Division title, one President's Trophy and made one Stanley Cup appearance while making the playoffs eight times in his 14 seasons.
Owner Terry Pegula has repeatedly said since he bought the team two years ago he believes in the managers he has in place. Regier said he appreciates this faith:
"I am very honored to continue working in this capacity with this ownership."
Pegula said the extension has been in the works for some time. Although Regier often comes under fire for alack of scoring, toughness or other attributes, his teams have won more than 56 percent of their games (the Sabres have been 556-442-83 with 78 ties since 1997-97) and made four trips to the conference finals. And while the Sabres missed the playoffs in 2011-12, Pegula feels Regier's putting the pieces in place to make a serious Stanley Cup run:
"I think that our team is a lot different from the team I inherited when I bought it … It looks like a good hockey team."
Of course, the Sabres also looked like a good team entering last season. The letdown that was 2011-12 remains fresh on the minds of management staffers. Regier said it makes this season that much more important:
"When you're a part of the team in this community, when you've lived here as long as I have, you're no longer an outside-hired GM. You feel an obligation to the community. It adds a lot of pressure. And it's honestly a good pressure to have."
That thought was reiterated by Pegula, who said Regier's situation is much different than the cash-conservative approach of previous owner Tom Golisano. While Regier will be given the freedom to create the roster he sees fit, the implication is clearly there that there is an expectation of results that accompanies that:
"He's got all the resources now. It's a very good situation, the creativity. You can't hold anybody's hand. When an artist paints a painting, you have to let him do his thing."
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