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Sabres GM doesn’t want to use ‘R word’ after Pominville trade

Darcy Regier

Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier talks during an NHL hockey news conference in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was hurt during a puck-chase drill as Jordan Leopold was trying to cut off forward Ville Leino Monday Feb. 6, 2012. Ruff was standing in the middle of the ice looking the other way when Leopold lost his footing and went sliding head first and crashed into the back of his coach’s skates. (AP Photo/David Duprey)


While the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames loaded up on prospects and picks by moving veterans, the Buffalo Sabres stayed pretty quiet aside from the significant exception of the Jason Pominville trade.

Going through a rebuild isn’t the easiest thing for many organizations - both the Stars and Flames were criticized for waiting too long in some circles - and it’s clear Sabres GM Darcy Regier is unsettled by the idea.

In fact, he didn’t even want to say the world “rebuild” while discussing the team’s direction with the Buffalo Times-Herald’s Bill Hoppe.

“I’m not going to use the ‘R’ word, but it allows us to draft and develop players and build the organization,” Regier said.

The embattled GM told the Buffalo News that merely making the postseason isn’t the goal.

“The preference is to build for a Stanley Cup rather than a playoff spot,” Regier said. “It’s no fun being where we are. There’s no enjoyment, but there is an opportunity.”

Top Sabres scorer Thomas Vanek said he’s on board with a short rebuild but wouldn’t want to stick around for much more misery. It looks like Regier is aiming for a brisk reboot, too.

“You want to make the painful period as short as possible,” said Regier. “It’s really difficult to put an exact timeline on it. It’s difficult standing here to say it’s going to be a year or two.”

Obviously, that’s easier said than done.