SABRES TRADE DEADLINE RECAP
Wednesday, 03.03.2010 / 8:10 PM / News
|Darcy Regier (Getty Images)
The Sabres acquired Raffi Torres, a left winger from the Columbus Blue Jackets in addition to a pair of draft picks from the Atlanta Thrashers.
Below are some excerpts of Regier's interview with the media and his overall assessment of the transactions:
Overall, for the roster was it a good day?
It’s a good day because I think… it’s a statement about a few things. We like this group of players; we feel that with the addition of Raffi [Torres], it’s allowed us to get a little bigger along the wall. He’s got good playoff experience, he’s been to the Finals and he’s something that we think fits into this group of forwards.
I’d say that when we looked at the players that were available – and I categorize the trade deadline as looking for tweaks, additions, support, depth – and when we looked at the things that we could do organizationally, we feel that we’ve got people pushing from Portland in the minors. We’ve got a couple defensemen down there that are very close to playing. We’ve got a couple forwards there that either have played in different situations or young guys that we’ll have a look at depending on the situation - possibly as early as down the stretch as well. The support, we feel, is very good within the organization.
Is it fair to say that you’re too many players away from being in that elite top group of teams… roster-wise? …[Are there] too many moves that need to be made in too little time… to get to where you need to be?
This is not the time of the year to make big player acquisitions. You can make them… we’re looking longer term and I’m not going to criticize anyone else. I think there have been some good deals, and I understand the circumstances, and they’re a little bit different, however you see them.
But given where we are, we think we can continue to grow. Certainly we’re well aware that Ryan [Miller] is an elite goaltender in the world, as evidenced by the Olympics. He’s certainly the backbone of that. We expect to continue to build down the stretch here, through the playoffs, in the summer. I think that’s where you can make the biggest - if you’re going to make changes - that’s the place where you can make the changes. It’s not at the deadline.
It’s not like you’re one or two players away, like Brian Burke - although he was a busy guy today - would traditionally say that this is the time of year for stupidity? That there is too much crazy stuff going on [at the trade deadline]?
I’ve done the research. I’ve gone back and looked at the drafts at this time of year and I think you have a greater chance of making a mistake than you do of making something good happen for your team. The criticism is often level, that you look at it from the standpoint of continuous improvement. For some people, that’s not fast enough – at times I wish it was faster – but if the players aren’t there and the opportunities aren’t there, I don’t think you want to be in the position to force it.
It was kind of weird, wasn’t it this year? … There didn’t seem to be any real shake-up moves.
Some of the big players that were either publicly stated that there was a good chance they were going to go - or I knew internally there was a good possibility they were going to go - did not go. I talked to some of my counterparts after the deadline, they made a decision that they wanted to hold those players and make the best playoff run they could make.
They didn’t want to be in a position where, even though in one case he could get a prospect and a first-round pick, he retained that player because he wants to be a playoff team. That’s a tough decision to make, organizationally… I do look at our club, and I look at it from the standpoint as we still - and Lindy [Ruff] was a part of this, ownership was a part of this – as a group we can continue to grow and we will continue to grow and we will continue to add when we have the opportunity.
Is that why you decided to hang on to [Henrik] Tallinder and [Toni] Lydman, for the reasons you stated?
I think that Henrik’s play on it’s own stands on its own. The support that he has given Tyler is very important to the organization. Toni is a great competitor so those players are important. I think in Nathan’s [Paetsch] case, he wasn’t playing, wasn’t in a position where we could foresee him playing anytime soon and then we’ve got the push from the kids in Portland as well.
Could you go into more specifics as to what it is you like about Raffi?
While he’s only 6-feet [tall] he’s a big body up there. He skates very well, shoots the puck, goes into the paint and will play in the hard areas. That fits, when you look at our skill guys, that fits well with our hockey club.
Is that why you traded Clarke [MacArthur]? No. 1 maybe to move money out since you were bringing money in, and No. 2 to reacquire some of the picks?
To reacquire picks with guys pushing from behind as well. We have some good kids in Portland… we have a lot of left wingers in the organization. Raffi is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and…somebody is going to come out of that depth in Portland and we feel will play at a pretty high level.
DARCY REGIER PRESS CONFERENCE