Saturday, June 25, 2011

Regehr Agrees to Play in Buffalo

2010-2011 NHL StatisticsJuly 1st Status
To BuffaloPositionAgeMINWSOPYearsCap Hit
Robyn RegehrD3179215172$4.02 million
Ales KotalikF32264261$3 million
To CalgaryPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Chris ButlerD24492790RFA
Paul ByronF2281121$555,000
2011 2nd Round Draft Pick

It took over 48 hours, but Robyn Regehr has finally agreed to waiving his no-movement clause in order the Flames to accept a deal to send him to Buffalo. On Sunday morning, the deal was finalized, sending the defensive defenseman to the Sabres, along with minors-bound cap lump Ales Kotalik and in return the Flames receive a couple of young players in Paul Byron and Chris Butler, plus the Sabres 2nd round pick in this weekend's draft.

In Regehr, the Sabres have acquired a very solid defenseman that looks after his own end first, which should fit in well with the scheme already in place for the team in front of All-World goalie Ryan Miller.  Regehr isn't known for his offensive capabilities, but his 17 points are nothing to sneeze at.  With Kotalik in tow, the Sabres could fit him into the roster as the smaller, speedy winger that he is, but it may be more of being a salary cap floor reaching part of the deal, rather than an actual building block to the team going forward.  Kotalik is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, so the experiment doesn't have to last long, nor will he hinder low expectations.

For the Flames, Chris Butler had to be the key to this deal, as he is an up-and-coming defender with the Sabres, playing some reasonable minutes, sometimes upwards of 27 a night, but his offensive totals may lack at the moment.  Nevertheless, Butler was a plus-player with the Sabres and should be able to find some consistency with the Flames, likely in a lesser role, but one he could adapt to.  Byron is a small forward who has spent a few years in the Buffalo organization, but has not materialized into a full-time Sabres roster player yet.  Byron is supposed to have some upside to him, if he can overcome his own size, so we shall see.

Salary CapFrankly, with the Flames likely to bury Kotalik in the minors again in the 2012 season, I didn't even have him in the calculations for their projected annual totals during their Pool Outlook, so comparing numbers only has the slashing of Regehr's totals in this deal.  With this deal complete, the Flames now sit at $52.1 million for 16 players and a buyout, while the Sabres are at $51.9 million for 15 players and a buyout, assuming Kotalik joins the line-up.  It doesn't really look like these two teams are too far apart, especially with the addition of Kotalik's numbers into the equation.

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