Farewell to Robyn Regehr

 

 

Before getting into the numbers side of the Flames most recent trade, it seems appropriate to bid a sincere farewell to Robyn Regehr, a guy who stood as one of franchise’s cornerstone players for the better part of a decade.

The Flames acquired Regehr in 1999 from the Avalanche in the package for Theoren Fleury. A 19th overall pick by Colorado, Regehr’s future with his new team was almost immediately thrown into doubt when a horrific car accident left him with two broken legs. However, not only did Reggie recover from his injuries, he made the Flames that October and was nominated for the Bill Masteron award at the end of his rookie campaign. His strength, physicality and overall defensive ability caused Regehr to rapidly rise through the Flames ranks and by 2003-04 Regehr was already an anchor presence on Calgary’s blueline, featured on the Flames top pairing with Jordan Leopold. There’s no doubt Calgary’s improbable cup run that season was made possible by the uncanny emergence of Miikka Kiprusoff, the offensive dominance of Jarome Iginla…and the implacable defense of Robyn Regehr.

Reggie has been the Flames top defender ever since. Through multiple defensive partners, coaches and GM’s, Regehr has persisted as the club’s never wavering “opposition suppressor”. For years he has consistently faced NHL superstars, a difficult and relatively thankless duty that is often underappreciated because it can’t be readily captured by the boxscores. During the few, brief periods when he struggled, there was never much doubt Regehr would regain his footing and persist as the Flames best defensive option.

On top of his on-ice presence, I always liked Regehr’s off-ice personality and professionalism. His interviews were dissimilar to the fluff most athletes frequently offer: sound bites stuffed with bland generalities and clichés. Regehr clearly thought seriously about the game and often offered clarity, honesty and insight which one would typically expect from a frank coach or scout. I appreciated his candor and will miss his willingness to “tell it like it is”.

The reason’s for the Regehr trade will be discussed and debated for the rest of the summer (and probably longer) no doubt. And despite whatever reasons or justifications that will be offered for his departure to Buffalo (however accurate), there’s no question the Flames lost an excellent person and player this weekend,; one who will be remembered by the fanbase fondly, even long after he dons a Sabres jersey and eventually retires.  

For posterity, here are some great Reggie moments compliments of youtube –

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for everything Reggie. And good luck.

  • Derzie

    To the best D-man ever to don the flaming C! (no disrespect to Mr McInnis) A man who always had the Opponent scared to skate over the blueline and made even the most nimble of forwards look useless. To Buffalo the spoils and to Calgary the memories.Thanks Reg and keep on smashin’!

  • Derzie

    Feasty better get Richards otherwise if this is just to Keep Iggy happy by signing Tanguay, Calgary is stuck at the middle of the pack. Vancouver president trophy winner and their powerplay was the difference. We need another legit first liner otherwise Reg was sacrificed in vein. Get Iggy that first line center that Backlund can learn from and return Calgary to contender status. Iggy will throw us on his back next playoff, he just needs 2 legit decoys. Tanguay is #1. Who’s #2? Let’s leave the Sutter era behind and stop forcing a square peg into a round hole and get a top flight center for once and for all.

    Reg would finally understand and not feel so bad. We owe it to him to show this was bigger than the trafe itself. I suspect that’s this organizations intention.

    Next up after hiring Boston’s head scout as GM is firing Button. Sorry Loubardias, he might get fired before you.

  • Captain Ron

    Nice tribute to the man who was the star in “the tunnel of death” down at the dome. I commented earlier at Flames Nation that I spent the day with him at the Flames golf tournament. I kept the sign from the golf cart that has both our names prnted on it. Have it framed and on display now in the man cave. For those who never met him or spoke to him I can tell you that he is a bit of an intimidating presence as well as a first rate person. He is also very quick witted and funny. My son and I saw him several times over the next couple of years and he always went out of his way to say hello to us which made my teenage son feel pretty special. His leadership and presence in the dressing room might be as big a loss as any this team has had for some time. Too bad they had to hang that head case Kotalik around his neck on the way out the door. It will be interesting to see him play all those games in the east, especially against Phaneuf and the Leafs. Sure hope this trade turns out good for us in the long run.

    • everton fc

      I think Misters Feaster and King under-estimated the importance of Regehr, both on and off the ice. Even if he has lost a step, which I don’t see as much as others. He’s a class guy, good in the room.

      Look at how many teams are glad to see him of Calgary. That should tell the Executive something.

      There were other ways towards cap-relief. Regehr should have been a foundation for the future. Like he would be if he were a Red Wing.

  • Great article, Kent. Thanks. I think you captured the feelings of all true Flames fans in this. Well written.

    I know I’ll miss the hell out of him (and just might find myself cheering for Buffalo from time to time…)

  • marty

    Goin to miss ya 28. won’t quite be the same here. wish you all the best. im 29 and for my generation the leadership,desire, passion and straight up aggressiveness reg brought for the flaming c will always have a place in my heart. all the best reggie.

  • Vintage Flame

    I also would like to wish Robyn all the best in Buffalo. I’m glad to know that he’ll have Leo there to help get him used to his knew home and teammates.

    Reggie, you will always be loved and respected by the fans, and you will always be a Flame.

    I saw the suggestion earlier that someday #28 should be hanging in the rafters of the Dome.. I would have no problem with that whatsoever.

  • wattree

    Reggie has been my favorite Flame for 10 years, and him leaving sucks. Fortunately, I cheer for laundry and I’ll get over it. But I’m going to hate watching him in another team’s jersey.

  • everton fc

    Just in case Flames Fan wasn’t frustrated enough by this move…know this…Oilers Fans, Players, Coaches, and Management are all dancing a jig knowing that next season they will not only no longer have to deal with the in game shut down defense and punishment he dished out on the Oil but also the 40+ mans games lost to injury that the Oiler roster suffered every year directly at the hands of Regehr. He was with out a doubt the biggest concern that the Oilers had going into every game because yes the flames will still win their share of games against the Oilers this year but they will no longer benefit from the additional games that the Oilers lost indirectly due to the injuries and punishment Regehr dished out every night. Thanks Feaster you probably have no idea just how happy you have made the city to the north.

  • everton fc

    Like all the rest here… I will miss Robyn Regehr. We spend a lot of time as a family east of Rosthern. Good people out there. He’s a grassroots guy. Genuine. Tough as nails…

    Feaster moved one of the franchises favourite players. Sure, most of us think we got nothing in return. Indeed, we didn’t. Which makes me wonder if this trade will forever be a dark scarlet letter for both King and Feaster.

    If you’re gonna move salary… Move salary that won’t break the fans hearts. I know that sounds far too dramatic. But look at how many people are beginning to realize we lost our leader. Regehr.

    Bad decision. I think he should have been allowed to finish his career here, as a Flame.

  • wattree

    Best of luck Reggie. Always loved watching you play. You personified the character of the 2004 Flames and the run to the Stanley Cup. Tough, hardworking, dependable, character. We will miss that on this team for sure. Buffalo is getting a great player.

  • Dr. Nick

    I know the video you speak of Hayley. It was called “Robyn Regehr Eats Hemsky’s Soul.” It began with Reggie saying “Once Hemsky cross checked me in the throat, and I really didn’t like that. So I try to be extra hard on him.” Following that gem of a line was two minutes of headfirst booms into the back boards. I wonder who removed it from Youtube, it was the best video ever

  • wattree

    My favourite Reggie moments have always been against the Oilers and his ongoing battle with Ales Hemsky. There used to be a compilation of Regehr’s biggest hits on Hemsky but I can’t seem to find it

  • Dr. Nick

    I will always be a huge fan of Reggie for his leadership, character and monster hits. He wasn’t going to be Bobby Orr, but he’s the guy I would put out to put Bobby in his place.

    To the best Brazilian born player in the NHL, good luck to you Mr. Regehr.

  • Michael

    The Regehr deal would have made more sense if we had Erixson fighting for a spot at training camp.

    At one point I actually thought we had the makings of a sold d corp; Bouwmeester, Phaneuf,
    Regehr, Gio…. Bouwmeester didn’t live up to expectations, Phaneuf is gone, and now Regehr.

    Regehr is the type of player that you don’t miss until he isn’t in the lineup…

  • Jarom

    I dont think I can count how many times I jumped out of my seat with joy watching Robyn demolish the opposition with hits. He was no doubt a great D man, a good member of the community and his presence will be missed. Thanks for the good times!

  • Derzie

    Kent,

    Thanks for this. In my books, Robyn Regehr will go down as one of the best shut-down D-men of all time. He will always be remembered as a warrior and a team-first player. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him donning a letter for the Sabres sooner rather than later. I wish him all the best.

  • PDumes

    It`s such a sad time that Robyn is no longer gonna be in the opening lineup come October. I will miss the way Beasley introduced him at the dome, i`ll miss his leadership and i`ll miss is total shutdown presence. He was a member of Team Canada twice, winning us a World Cup in 2004.

    I hope one day we see 28 up in the rafters, who cared if he didn`t have the stats or awards. He was at one time the best shutdown dman in the league and easily one of the best the Flames ever saw in that position. Like Kent said it`s a thankless position because his name wasn`t always in the box card every night, but he did so much more.