(Buffalo Sabres General Manager, Darcy Regier sat down with Sabres.com late Friday afternoon and answered questions submitted by fans. Below are his answers to the questions chosen by Sabres.com out of the pool of 366 that were submitted.)
Why did the Sabres not tender Miroslav Satan an offer, instead of tendering him, trading him and getting something back? - James W. from Rochester, NY
Darcy Regier: We tried to trade Miro right up until the deadline. We had no offers for him. Ironically, I don't think anyone anticipated the open market to go the way it went. For us, it was a situation in which we wanted to have the financial flexibility on the one hand and on the other, we felt that we had the forwards and had the depth to be able to cover the loss with guys like Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek who are knocking on the door to play in the National Hockey League.
Do you feel it is mandatory to try to replace a Miroslav Satan caliber player through free agency? - Eric B. from Reno, NV
DR: No, I don't. In Tomas Vanek, we have the second-leading goal-scorer in the American Hockey League, a rookie. Derek Roy will give us some additional offense as well. The rest will have to come from increased team scoring from Dumont, Afinogenov etc.
With the theoretically parity around the league, how does that change the team building strategy in the NHL?
DR: The challenge will be to keep your core players together. If teams expect to have success, that will be their biggest hurdle. Unrestricted free agency will begin at age 25 for some players under the new system. Additionally, selecting and attracting top talent to your team will be important. If you have a team first approach, I believe you will have more success.
There will be a bigger field of unrestricted free agents a year from now. This year's free agents are 31; next year's will be age 29. Hopefully with the commitments being made to players this year - high salaries over many years - combined with next years large field, player costs will take a downturn.
Because of the rule changes, will Brian Campbell's value increase? - Douglas C. from Ottawa, Ontario
DR: There are certain players whose style of play is more suited for the new rules; we believe Brian is one of those players.
I have been a big fan of Jochen Hecht since his time as a 17 year old at the Mannheim Eagles. I was just wondering, what are the chances he will stay with Buffalo this season? - Christian B. from Bemidji, MN
DR: Jochen has one year until he becomes an unrestricted free agent but he will certainly be here for this season. It is our hope that we will be able to sign him to a new contract and keep him here for the foreseeable future.
I'm the starting goaltender for Frontier Federation and I've been working out all summer running and in the weight room. I wanted to know, how I go about being scouted or getting the attention of scouts? - James R. from Blasdell, NY
DR: First of all, your performance is what matters most. Hopefully you can get named to the Bowman Cup, as you can be assured there will be a number of collegiate and USHL scouts in attendance.
And one of the things that Buffalo Sabres Youth Hockey Coordinator, Patrick Fisher has talked about - and I think it would be a good idea - is for a group of knowledgeable hockey people, not necessarily pro or Sabres personnel, rate the kids around Western New York and then publish those ratings with the junior and college teams in other leagues like the USHL.
Do we have any chance of making the playoffs this season? Or is this being looked at as a rebuilding year? - Brian K. from Erie, PA
DR: No, this is a playoff year.
When are we going to see the end of the goalie carousel? - Chrisopher P.
DR: In all probability, we will address the three-goalie situation this season.
Do you have any predictions as to which goaltender will step-up into the starting role? - Brian from Buffalo
DR: [Laughs] I do, but I'm going to keep them to myself.