Unrestricted free agency opens up tomorrow at noon. It’s probably one of the busiest days to be a general manager in the NHL.
Even if you’re not necessarily in the market for an over-priced player, you’d think that you would want to be at the phones and maybe doing your job.
Not being big spenders on July 1 shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone familiar with the organization because we all know the Sabres aren’t going to make a huge splash in the free agent market. No one is realistically expecting Marian Hossa or Jay Bouwmeester to sign here.
From today’s Buffalo News:
“Regardless of what happens in the next week or two weeks, we’re going to work to see if we can improve the hockey club,” Regier said. “It doesn’t have to all come through unrestricted signings or free agent signings. It can come through trades. I just think there will be more work over the course of the summer this year than probably in the past.”
Regier just isn’t sure when that work will start.
Apparently that work isn’t starting right away.
Check out the latest tweet from Sabres.com:
Darcy Regier is this week’s guest on the final episode of Lunch Express. Watch LIVE on Wed. at 12:30PM. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So if you were planning on e-mailing to ask Regier what free agents he’s looking at, the answer will be none. Because he’s too busy answering your e-mail.
Maybe a more appropriate question would be:
“Are you sure the fax machine is working?”
“How’s that creamsicle?”
It’s not the end of the world that he’s doing the Sabres Lunch Express show. But it does look really bad. On, arguably, the most anticipated day of the off-season, the last thing he should be doing is answering hand-selected, powderpuff questions from fans.
His team has missed the playoffs in five of the last seven seasons. They’re the first team ever to not qualify for the playoffs in consecutive seasons after winning the President’s Trophy. And he and his coach are on the hot seat with fans and the media.
Whether or not the front office wants to admit it, the Sabres roster is filled with holes.
A lot of teams will be looking to cut salaries and make room for new players. Just because you don’t plan on signing anyone on Canada Day or in the days (or weeks) after, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention when the market opens. You never know when a team might come along with an interesting trade proposal.
Is it asking too much? To have the general manager actually work when free agency starts? Accountability needs to start somewhere.
Fans want to know what Regier is doing to make this team better — and that’s something he won’t be able to answer at 12:30 tomorrow.