The Sabres Report - May 29, 2015

New coach brings the will to win   

Buffalo News:

‘The Sabres had to hire Bylsma. Bylsma had to take this job. The only surprise is what took so long for it to happen after Babcock jilted Buffalo.’

Time off prepared Bylsma for Sabres job   

Buffalo News:

‘“I’ve done quite a bit of growing the last year looking at the game, so I plan to bring that to the coach I’ll be with the Sabres,” Bylsma said in First Niagara Center. “There is, I think, a bright future ahead for this team.”’

Bylsma is antidote for Sabres’ dysfunction   

Buffalo News:

‘Bylsma is still a good hire for the Sabres. If Babcock was more than Terry Pegula deserved, Bylsma is a very nice consolation prize. In some ways, he’s perfect for the job. He’s a big name in USA Hockey, and Pegula is making Buffalo a prime destination for youth hockey in America.’

Larry Bill, the Sabres 'Twister,' dies at 65   

Buffalo News:

‘He had a season ticket for several years, occupying an aisle seat at the locker room end of the Aud. The Sabres eventually presented him with a custom team jersey, bearing the name “Twister.”’

After Babcock snub, Sabres score on the rebound   

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

‘Those plums, along with a stellar young defense, some character veterans, a farm club in Rochester just 75 miles away, state-of-the-art facilities and oh yes, a billionaire owner, made Buffalo a nice landing pad for Bylsma, who was fired in a regime change last June in Pittsburgh despite a 109-point season, his fourth in six years.’

Dan Bylsma had eye on Sabres job   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“That is no way or shape the reason why I coached or want to coach or have any interest in coaching the Buffalo Sabres,” he said. “I look at the opportunity to come to an organization, develop with this team, develop into a winning culture on a winning team. I’m not coaching to prove anything to anybody else.”‘

Buffalo hires ex-Penguins coach Bylsma   

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

‘The pick will be the better of two third-round selections the Sabres acquired in trades with the New York Islanders. One of those picks originally belonged to the Vancouver Canucks.’

After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma's hiring   

Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

‘“The rule is not as clear as it should be,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Trib Total Media. “We felt that the intent of the rule was for employees that were still with the team, that were working with the team, not terminated employees.’

Grand Haven native Dan Bylsma hired to coach Buffalo Sabres   

Muskegon Chronicle:

‘Bylsma, a graduate of Western Michigan Christian, was a player in the NHL for nine seasons and won a Stanley Cup in 2009 as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.’

Dan Bylsma hired as Sabres new head coach   

Toronto Sun:

‘Bylsma won the Jack Adams Award in 2011 as the league’s “most outstanding coach” following a season that saw Pittsburgh overcome adversity to post one of the best regular-season records in franchise history. The Penguins went 49-25-8 and won the Atlantic Division that season despite ranking near the top of the league with 350 man games lost due to injury, including 119 from the team’s top three forwards in ice time per game (Sidney Crosby 41, Jordan Staal 39, Evgeni Malkin 39).’

Sabres' Bylsma, Eichel could form dynamic coach-player duo   

Toronto Sun:

‘“Sure, I had heard all the praise he had received beforehand,” Bylsma recounted in a phone interview with the Postmedia Network on Thursday night. “But this wasn’t going to be a situation where you were playing against teenagers at the world juniors. Or against college kids. Here he was playing against men.”’

Dan Bylsma will push offense as Sabres' new coach   

USA Today:

‘He will be different with a young team, but there is no doubt he will let the Sabres explore their offensive abilities.’

Bylsma can stand on his track record   


‘Collectively, it seems that the criticism of Dan Bylsma as a head coach can be reduced to ‘he rode the talent of two amazing players to an impressive coaching record, yet at the same time couldn’t win enough’, which is equal parts ironic and specious. Look, there’s little doubt that having Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin in the lineup helped things along, but again, these weren’t players who put in healthy 80+ game seasons year after year. In Dan Bylsma’s tenure alone, Sidney Crosby missed 121 regular season games, and Evgeni Malkin missed another 100 games. After a quick cross-reference, it brings us to 174 regular season games in which Dan Bylsma was without one or both of his premier talents.’

Sabres hire Dan Bylsma as new head coach   

CBS Sports:

‘Bylsma has to be a talent developer, while also attempting to win hockey games. Those aims don’t always cooperate. No one is saying the Sabres should play to lose as it seemed like they did based on roster construction last season. But wins and losses may not be the most important thing up front. With young guys like Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen, as well as presumed No. 2 pick Jack Eichel, there has to be significant progression over the next two to three years in those players’ development. That’s going to be on Bylsma more than anyone else in terms of how they are utilized in games and how they’re trained.’

Dan Bylsma introduced as Sabres head coach: 5 takeaways   

CBS Sports:

‘Even if that’s not what he’s aiming to do (and though he won’t admit it, there has to be a chip on his shoulder in some way), Bylsma does have an opportunity to build on his legacy as a head coach. Some might feel he is overrated because his only NHL job came with the stars of the Penguins, but this situation in Buffalo will truly test him.’