Calgary Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr has agreed to waive his no-move clause and accepted a trade to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Regehr, along with winger Ales Kotalik and a second-round draft pick in 2012 were sent to the Sabres in exchange for defenceman Chris Butler and centre Paul Byron.
"(This trade) really focused on Robyn and our need for a veteran presence, someone who could come in and play with some of our young D. Unfortunately you have to give up a good young D to get someone like Robyn," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier told the NHL Network. "But I think when you look at players like Tyler Myers, who's a right D and Robyn is a lefty … I'm not going to make a coaching decision, but just that influence is helpful."
Regehr finished with 17 points and a plus-2 rating in 79 games this season. The 31-year-old defenceman has 163 points in 11 seasons.
Regier sees the veteran influence on the back end as a major need to help the development of their young defence core working to get to the NHL level.
"We have a lot of young D in our system. We've drafted a lot of defencemen and they're developing, and as they come up they need that guidance. I think with Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr, players with a little more experience, a little bit of understanding and a stabilizing influence as well as leadership, it's critical to the young defenceman's development," he told the NHL Network.
The 32-year-old Kotalik spent last season between Calgary and the Flames' AHL affiliate Abbotsford, recording six points in 26 games in Calgary.
Going to Calgary will be 22-year-old centre Byron and 24-year-old defenceman Butler, along with a second-rounder. Byron scored two points in eight games for the Sabres last season, while Butler recorded nine points in 49 games in his third season with the Sabres. Butler is slated to become an restricted free agent on July 1.
Regehr had originally held off on waiving his no-move clause to accept a trade to Buffalo but later changed his mind. Sabres owner Terry Pegula was reportedly very influential in Regehr's eventual decision.
"We had a lot of people involved. Terry Pegula was involved, (head coach) Lindy Ruff was involved, I spoke with him. Terry's wife Kim was communicating with (Robyn's) wife Christina. Actually, they're on a plane right now to see him," Regier said. "It's a different culture: Terry and Kim are very family oriented, and he wants players to know that this is going to be a great place to play. It always has been, it's even better now, and he wants to be a part of creating a family relationship with the individual players."
Later in the day, the Flames signed forward Alex Tanguay to a 5-year, $17.5 million extension.