The Sabres appear to be going with an inexperienced GM

A decision is coming soon

Paul Hamilton
May 01, 2017 - 4:17 pm

(WGR 550) - After the Sabres fired Tim Murray, I thought the very best thing the Pegula’s could do, was get in touch with Montreal’s senior vice president of hockey operations, Rick Dudley. Dudley is the best evaluator of talent I have ever met. The Pegula’s disagree as Dudley has not been interviewed to be the Sabres' new general manager.

Dudley’s been the general manager in Atlanta, Florida, Ottawa and Tampa Bay. The Sabres need a GM that is good at evaluating and finding good talent. I don’t think you would see Dudley trading a first round pick for a goaltender or trade a solid defenseman in Mark Pysyk for an average to below average defenseman in Dmitry Kulikov. The Sabres could still win that trade if Rasmus Asplund turns into an above average NHL player, but by missing so badly on Kulikov, it made Buffalo's defense the worst in the NHL.

I acknowledge, Dudley is not part of the new guard and at 66, I don’t know how he feels about using analytics as a tool to help in decisions, but I do know he would target and find talent for this team.

Even though Dean Lombardi has won two Stanley Cups, I can’t get past some of the bad contracts he stuck the Kings with that led to his firing. Buffalo has not asked to talk to him and that doesn’t bother me at all.

In the past few weeks, I have confirmed for you that the Sabres have spoken with Columbus assistant general manager Bill Zito, Pittsburgh associate GM Jason Botterill, Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin and Los Angeles assistant GM Mike Futa.

The Associated Press confirmed that New Jersey assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald has interviewed as well as Nashville assistant general manager Paul Fenton.

John Shannon of Sportsnet reports that Calgary assistant GM Craig Conroy has also been interviewed.

If the Sabres are interested in Phil Housley as their next head coach, I would think Fenton would have a good shot.

I know Pat LaFontaine was very impressed with Botterill during past interviews. Between 2002 and 2004, Botterill played 36 games with the Sabres. He also played 118 games in Rochester.

Botterill has been in the Penguins front office for 10 years. Before that, he was a scout with Dallas and worked for the league.

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