You were just waiting for it, weren’t you?
As soon as you heard about the Pominville extension, those numbers started floating around in your head. 5for25. 5for25fivefortwentyfive. It’s the phrase that has become cliche around these parts, a benchmark of sorts in an attempt to pinpoint the value of a player in this era.
Well, we were close.
Everyone has been talking about whether they like the deal or not, and I think it’s obviously a solid deal for both sides. This summer is the first one I can remember where things went almost as well as possible. No one of significance bailed on the team, no contract talks got out of hand, and players were brought in that will immediately make it better.
But we are still not out of the woods yet. Take a look at the numbers for this team over the next few years. There are three big players entering contract years, and something has to give. Afinogenov, Kotalik, and Connolly all have similar cap hits and similar status as underachievers, and come next fall only one may still be on the roster. With Kennedy, Zagrapan, and Gerbe coming up there will be some turnover, and it will be interesting to see how all that shakes out.
What is important to note is that Darcy went out and got his guys. Regier gets so much flack for just doing his job, but you have to admit he is going about things exactly how he wants. Forget about last summer and the missed chances. Since July 1st everything has moved the way he wanted, even in dealing with Brian Campbell and the development of young talent.
These are his roster moves, his draft picks, and his contract negotiations. What Regier does so well is find guys he likes and trust them to come of age. The system has taken on a different look with the loss of Rochester and subsequent addition of Portland, but nothing has changed about the way he drafts and the way he signs players.
There aren’t many expectations for this year’s Sabres team, but you can’t say that Darcy hasn’t put together a roster worth watching. All he can do is sign them and look towards next year. How they perform and respond is up to Lindy, and that’s the part I’m less sure about.