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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier, just two days removed from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota and a major trade with the Calgary Flames that landed Robyn Regehr and Ales Kotalik, met with the local media back in Buffalo on Monday. 

Among the topics covered were Robyn Regehr’s future role with the team, the upcoming free agency period, last weekend’s draft and more.  Here are some of the highlights of the media availability:


On the 2011 Entry Draft:
“I can tell you that we’re excited. I think it started with the first pick (Finnish forward Joel Armia).  Kevin Devine and the scouts really had focused in on him and felt strongly about it.  I got there Tuesday night and he was the guy, and to be able to get your guy, I think that ultimately is the best thing  that can happen for your organization.”

On how Sabres Owner Terry Pegula will impact the offseason:
“I think you have to give Terry a tremendous amount of credit, because he’s opened up the ability for us to focus on unrestricted free agents and given us the resources, so we’re in competition for what really is a pretty small group of players; it’s a small list this year.  But knowing that we have the ability to compete for those players amongst the other teams is tremendous.”

On how this year’s free agency period could be different from past years:
“It’s both different and exciting.  In the past, it was largely about trades and drafting and developing your own players, so a third area has been opened up on the unrestricted side where we can compete for the best, top unrestricted free agents.  Ultimately the player is going to make the choice as to where he’s going to go and where he wants to play, but to be involved in that process is tremendous for our organization.”

On acquiring defenseman Robyn Regehr from Calgary: “Robyn we really focused in on over the last couple of weeks.  I think understanding what Calgary wanted to do helped a lot with respect to freeing up some cap space.  But Robyn is going to be a tremendous asset, not only from his play but from the experience that he brings, the opportunity for our younger players to play with him, the opportunity for someone like Jordan Leopold to be reunited, not just as a teammate but he also played with him in Calgary.  There’s just a number of things that are added having his presence here…. We just felt that if we could bring both experience, some size, some grittiness, someone who was in a leadership position with that team, those attributes were really the focal points for us.  

On Buffalo’s own impending unrestricted free agents: “We’ll continue talking.  I’ll have a conversation with Cody McCormick’s agent, with Tim Connolly’s agent and we’ll see where it goes from there…  I have spoken with Mike Grier’s agent, I’ve spoken with Steve Montador’s agent just briefly in passing in Minneapolis, and also with Niedermayer’s agent.”

On the perception of the Buffalo Sabres around the NHL: “It has changed, it is changing.  I think that people have quickly become aware of ownership’s desire and intent to win a Stanley Cup.  It’s not just the statement, it’s the actions.  When Terry and Kim and Lindy get on board a plane to go meet with Robyn on Day 2 of the Draft, I think things like that send a very strong message.  Players are aware of it, our players are aware of it… everyone’s excited and aware of the new leadership from our ownership.  
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