Regehr OKs trade to Sabres

Flames' Robyn Regehr throws a hit.

Flames' Robyn Regehr throws a hit.

Steve Macfarlane, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:33 AM ET

CALGARY - After thinking long and hard about his options — or the lack therof — Robyn Regehr decided just before the NHL Entry Draft began Friday night not to waive his no-movement clause to go to Buffalo.

But not long after the first round came to a conclusion, the 31-year-old Calgary Flames defenceman had a change of heart and decided to embrace the Sabres after all.

“Options changed and yes I did waive,” Regehr told the Sun late Friday night via text. “I’m going to Buffalo.

“I have to talk to a bunch of family.”

Regehr’s decision not to waive earlier in the day wasn’t about the Sabres, but about making sure when he does, it’s the right decision for himself, his young family, and his career.

The 6-foot-3, 225-lb. rearguard explained his thought process minutes before the first round began after speaking with Calgary GM Jay Feaster about the deal pending between the Flames and Sabres — which needed Regehr’s approval to proceed.

“I can’t waive unless I see options. I had no options, really, other than this deal. There was never anything other than that. It was a yes or no type thing,” said Regehr, who envisioned an open dialogue and the ability to work with the Flames to find a deal that worked for both player and team.

After another discussion, Regehr decided to accept the move.

Although he doesn’t follow Twitter, he should also take up the offer from a Buffalo resident who offered the hard-hitting shut-down defender a commercial gas range for his new home there. The discussions he’s had with Sabres players, management and owner Terry Pegula certainly played a role.

“Darcy Regier has been fantastic,” Regehr said of the Sabres GM. “It sounds like Buffalo is great.”

For a few hours, however, there was a big ‘but.’

“Until we see what’s all out there, we can’t make a real good informed decision that we’re comfortable with.”

During the draft proceedings, Feaster suggested the Sabres deal — terms of which are not official, but according to TSN, winger Ales Kotalik is expected to go as well in exchange for diminutive centre Paul Byron, young defenceman Chris Butler and a second-round pick — was the only one the organization was comfortable with.

“The reasons (other) options weren’t presented to him is we had a deal with Buffalo that made sense and we didn’t have one anywhere else,” Feaster said.

“Jay has what’s best for the team in mind in doing that and moving forward,” Regehr said earlier. “I told him I’m good for what works for the team and what works for us as well. But I have to watch out for family and myself, too, and my career. It all has to make sense.

“As I told Jay, I’m willing to look at what works best for the team, first and foremost, and also what works for us. It has to be a kind of mutually agreed-upon thing.

“If we can get to that pace, then you know what, we’ll do the deal.”

Apparently, the first round of the draft went slowly enough to make that happen.


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