As I pointed out yesterday in examining Ladislav Smid, the Canadiens have been experimenting with young call-ups Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, and Nathan Beaulieu as sixth defensemen in recent weeks. While they have each been decent, and at times even promising, none of them are good enough at this point to be relied upon come playoff time.
As such, the search for a defenseman, for Marc Bergevin, may be well underway. I'm sure the name Robyn Regehr has crossed his mind at some point, let's see if he would be a fit. Here is my Q&A with Andy Boron, Managing Editor over at Die By The Blade.
Me: Regehr is only 32 years old, but there have been rumblings that he doesn't have much left. What has his role been with the team so far in 2013, how has he performed, and what could he bring to a contender?
Andy: Regehr's role for the Sabres is shutdown defenseman. He plays the toughest minutes in terms of Quality of Competition, and is one of the top PK guys on the roster. He also brings a very physical nature to his game, with a big frame and nasty disposition. While it's pretty clear to most fans that he's at the age where he's starting to lose a step, Regehr is still a very solid defenseman, and has been one of Buffalo's more steady blue liners this year, partly because he keeps his game so simple. Block shots. Hit guys. Clear Pucks. I think he could still contribute to a contender on a second pairing and as a PK specialist.
Me: What do you think the cost would be for a team like the Habs to acquire him?
Andy: I would compare his trade cost to what Pittsburgh gave up for Douglas Murray, another aging, physical, hard minutes defenseman. Regehr also has a No Movement Clause in his contract, so you'd have to convince him to waive that as well.
Me: (Bonus) How long after the Sabres acquired Regehr until you stopped having to look up how to spell his name?
Andy: A few days, but more confusing (still) is the Regier/Regehr combo.
Thanks Andy, we sympathise about the spelling.
It seems that Regehr might not be a bad fit for the Canadiens. He has handled tough competition and generally gets killed for it in terms of possession, but as a third pairing guy with Montreal, softer minutes might yield more favorable results. The former Calgary Flames mainstay, like Smid, is a lefty, so he won't fill Diaz's shoes completely - he also doesn't possess any of the Swiss' offensive abilities - but he would be a nice reliable veteran presence.
If the asking price for Regehr is truly something like a 2nd and a conditional 3rd - let's be honest, he's not re-signing here - then that might be worth it. Is he the best possible value? That's another question that must be answered.