Who do the Sabres turn to?
Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - In the end, I thought Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma would be retained. But the reality is: Buffalo missed the playoffs by 17 points, not two, and this organization drastically regressed this season.
Murray had laid the groundwork to sign Russian defenseman Viktor Antipin and had made arrangements with Vegas general manager George McPhee for the expansion draft. All of that could be in danger now.
Many names are being thrown around to replace both men, but for me it starts and ends with Rick Dudley. When it comes to evaluating talent, there is nobody I respect more than Montreal’s assistant general manager. The thing is, he has turned down jobs to stay with the Canadiens.
If Chris Drury is ready to run a team, he would be another high on my list. The former Sabres captain is currently the with the Rangers as an assistant general manager.
The Pegulas have been known to pull out of the Penguins organization, which may turn them towards Pittsburgh's associate general manager Jason Botterill or assistant general manager, Bill Guerin.
Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter is considered as an up-and-coming star executive in the league.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN also mentioned Tampa Bay assistant general manager, Julien BriseBois.
Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald is another name brought up as a smart hockey man. Murray drafted his son Casey in the third round of the NHL Draft last June.
Dean Lombardi was fired in Los Angeles this season, but won two Stanley Cups with the Kings along with his coach, Darryl Sutter.
Phil Housley seems to be ready to make the jump to head coach. He’s an assistant coach with Nashville. Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com had an idea of Kevyn Adams to run the hockey department with Housley as head coach. I could sign up for all of that with Drury being the general manager.
If you brought in Dudley, he would be in charge, so the Adams idea wouldn’t work.
I’m sure Lindy Ruff’s name will be kicked around as the team’s next coach. For me, that should be the new GM’s job: to hire the coach.