New Sabre Regehr made 'right decision'

Robyn Regehr made it clear on Thursday that he's happy to be joining the Sabres, saying "I think we made the right decision coming to Buffalo."

Robyn Regehr made it clear on Thursday that he's happy to be joining the Buffalo Sabres.

Regehr, 31, was asked to waive his no-trade clause to move to Buffalo last week after more than 11 seasons in Calgary.

Regehr admitted it was an emotional decision for him and his wife to leave the Alberta club, the only NHL entity he's known.

"There's been a lot of things that factored into our decision — it was a pretty important decision — so we did take some time to make it, but we're pretty happy with it and I think we made the right decision coming to Buffalo," said Regehr.

Regehr said he appreciated owner Terry Pegula and coach Lindy Ruff, among others, visiting him at his Saskatchewan home to talk over the planned move. The veteran rearguard also consulted Steve Montador, Jordan Leopold and Rhett Warrener, who each played for both Calgary and Buffalo in their careers.

Billionaire Pegula has made no secret of his desire to turn the Sabres into perennial contenders since taking over earlier this year, after the club conducted business in an austere way under previous ownership.

Calgary also sent veteran forward Ales Kotalik and a second-round pick in 2012 in the deal to the Sabres, getting defenceman Chris Butler and young forward prospect Paul Byron.

The rugged Regehr played 827 regular season games with the Flames, compiling 29 goals and 134 assists with 802 penalty minutes.

He was one of a handful of players left from Calgary's 2004 club that went to the Stanley Cup final.

Regehr said he's been so busy in the transition that he only found out just before the press conference Thursday that the Sabres had moved to secure defenceman Christian Ehrhoff's negotiating rights the previous night.

On Thursday, the Sabres announced they've signed Ehrhoff to a long-term contract — reportedly for 10 years and $40 million US.

"Having played against Ehrhoff out West, he had a really good year in Vancouver and he's a good defenceman," said Regehr. "That's another sign of the change that's happening here with this hockey team."

Ehrhoff set career highs in goals and assists with Vancouver, but the Canucks traded his rights to the New York Islanders for a draft pick earlier this week when it became clear the German was going to test the market as a free agent. The Islanders couldn't gain traction with Ehrhoff, and got their seventh-round pick back by dealing his rights to Buffalo.