September 28, 2014
Darcy Regier is a very respected manager in the hockey world. He was the long time general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, and he built the Sabres team that went all the way to the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.
But did you know Darcy Regier once played in the National Hockey League, too?
Regier was a defenseman out of Swift Current, Saskatchewan and he played his junior hockey in Alberta with the Lethbridge Broncos, who, ironically in this case, would move to Swift Current in the mid 1980s.
Darcy Regier's taste of NHL action was over by the time the junior teams shuffled. He was drafted 77th overall by the California Golden Seals, who also did the transfer game and ended up in Cleveland. Regier got 15 games in with the Barons in 1977-78, picking up 1 assist.
After that Regier seemed destined to the minor leagues. He was traded, along with Wayne Merrick, to the New York Islanders for Jean Potvin and J.P. Parise in 1978, but never had much of a chance to crack the Islanders deep blue line during those Stanley Cup years.
Injuries allowed for Regier's return to the NHL, albeit in two brief spurts. In 1982-83 he appeared in 6 regular season contests, playing along side Denis Potvin. In the following year he appeared in 5 more games, this time playing beside Gord Lane.
That was it for Darcy Regier's NHL playing career. 26 games and 2 assists. But he made an impression on the Islanders for his business sense, as he served as president of the Minor League Players Association, which is now known as the Professional Hockey Players Association. The Islanders invited him to their front office, eventually working his way up to assistant general manager before leaving for Buffalo.