Darcy and the Draft

by Ryan

As we move forward in the age of blogs, the little things in sports become more and more important. This is most certainly a good thing, but it’s important to determine what’s useful information and what merely seems interesting.

This most certainly becomes evident around the draft, where everyone is looking for answers in a system that doesn’t provide immediate returns. Where an NFL draft class can be analyzed within two or three years, the way the NHL develops makes it much harder to break things down with such a small sample size.

As a result, there are a lot of ways to judge “good” and “bad” draft classes. Factor in trades and free agency and you have the general summary of what an NHL general manager does and how he is evaluated.

These evaluations are especially important when your general manager is in the hot seat. The fact of the matter is that what Darcy Regier does this weekend will have a lot to do with his job security in the coming months.

What’s interesting is that the draft is by far the most important aspect of Regier’s role as GM. The nature of small market teams and the way the Sabres assemble their roster puts a huge emphasis on in-house development. Regier is known for his draft successes, but some have come to say Darcy is hit and miss with his selections.

That being said, yesterday I read the most interesting study of the draft I have ever seen. The Falconer over at Bird Watchers Anonymous has come up with a really interesting metric for determining how successful a team is in the draft.

Lo and behold, there the Sabres at at the top of the list. The method itself is really interesting, and something I want to look at and discuss a bit further later tonight. What I wonder is what you think about Darcy’s draft prowess, and just how important it is to the team as a whole.

Either way, The Falconer’s post deserves a ton of attention, and it’s by far the best thing I’ve seen about the draft. The next two days will be very draft-centric around here, both NBA and NHL. Should be fun.


  1. The metric makes sense. GMDR has found some key contributors outside the 1st round, which really offsets how genuinely poor his 1st rounders have been.

    Funny we saw the same thing and went, wow.

    • I vote we call Darcy “GMDR” forever and ever throughout the rest of recorded history. I’m sick of referring to my GM by his first name…

  2. Sabresfan88

    Wow. That Bird Watchers Anonymous analysis is impressive. It seems like it might be a pretty legitimate tool for easily evaluating GMs during that period. I mean, as long as you make sure to only look at the times the GMs were employed, as I’m sure there were many changes during the period.

  3. brian s.

    I agree that the Bird Watchers Anonymous analysis is pretty amazing. I was aware that the draft was nothing more than a crapshoot half the time, but not that bad. It’s kind of funny that the Sabres are the best ranked team (at 15%) with their video scouting method. Just as interesting is that NJ and Carolina are at the bottom of the list yet have either won a Cup recently (Canes) or consistently contend (NJ)

  4. Ogre39666

    I’m down with calling Darcy “GMDR”.