It was good to see Darcy Regier land another gig in the NHL after the Sabres finally fired him last season. Yes, I’m serious. In case you missed it, Regier was named senior vice president and assistant general manager of the Arizona Coyotes.
The Sabres will spend years recovering from his mistakes, but his experience and ingenuity will serve him well with the Coyotes. Regier was ahead of his time when it came to video scouting, for example, but ultimately he relied too much on technology and didn’t have enough scouts attending games.
Most interesting is that the same man who refused to hire an assistant general manager became one himself. The longstanding belief inside the Sabres’ organization was that Regier would not hire an assistant GM who would challenge his decisions or threaten his job.
His new position appears to suit his personality. He can concentrate on evaluating players and work behind the scenes without worrying about the hassles of dealing with the public and the pressure that comes with the top job. GM Don Maloney certainly doesn’t need to worry about Regier challenging him.
• The Yankees’ latest desperate attempt to find a starter took a turn Sunday when they acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks. Clearly, they feared the season was slipping away after CC Sabathia suffered a setback while recovering from knee problems. McCarthy has failed to regain his form as a No. 1 starter since he fractured his skull after getting hit with a line drive in 2012. It was enough to scare many a pitcher off the mound for good. It might explain his 8-21 record and 4.74 ERA over the last two seasons. He’s 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA this season while averaging just more than six innings per start.
• You would have a tough time finding a classier athlete than Roger Federer over the past 20 years. Federer is a great champion, obviously, but he also has shown how athletes can lose with grace and dignity. He was genuinely happy for Novak Djokovic after losing Sunday in the Wimbledon final. The only athlete in the same league, in terms of class, was Nicklas Lidstrom. He was known as “The Perfect Human Being” during his days with the Red Wings.
• It has come to my attention that Kim Pegula has taken a more aggressive role in daily operations of the Sabres over the past year. Apparently, she’s not just making sure First Niagara Center looks spiffy for events, as it appeared when she arrived.
She’s not making personnel moves or breaking down the power play, but I’m told she has a seat in hockey meetings and therefore has a say in hockey-related matters. If you’re shaking your head over that nugget, you are not alone.
• Nobody should be shocked that several teams are lining up for Carmelo Anthony, but it was surprising to hear that Phil Jackson was willing to give him the maximum contract to stay with the Knicks. Anthony is a great scorer and gate attraction, but he’s not a franchise player. Jackson’s first priority should be cleaning up the Knicks’ payroll, not contributing to the problem. The Lakers appear to have an inside track. ’Melo would be a better fit there, assuming he and Kobe Bryant could co-exist.
• The Bills aren’t going to fall apart because Kiko Alonso is gone for the season, but you have to wonder if his knee injury will cost them at least one game. Alonso had the potential to become one of the better outside linebackers this season. In a year in which they believe they can make a push for the playoffs, one victory could be the difference.
• College baseball for years has been looking for the right blend of pitching and hitting and continues tinkering with the rules. Too many homers led them to dumb down the bats. Too few homers this season led to changes in baseball seams that will lessen movement on pitches. Life would be easier if they played with the same balls used in the big leagues and used wood bats.