The Sabres Report - May 24, 2015

Thoughts on Alfred, Dareus and the Sabres coaching search   

Olean Times Herald:

‘That the Sabres were in it to the last second says a lot about Pegula’s commitment to winning.’

Babcock going to Toronto leaves Sabres in uncomfortable position   

Buffalo News:

‘If Buffalo decides to hire AHL coach Luke Richardson, it sends the message that they settled for someone no head-coaching experience in the NHL. Richardson could be a very good coach, but he doesn’t have Bylsma’s record or experience. If they tried to hire Bylsma and failed, they were down to their third choice.’

Dan Bylsma to meet with Buffalo Sabres this week   

Sportsnet:

‘Friedman mentioned that Bylsma could appeal to the Sabres because he worked with highly-touted draft prospect Jack Eichel as assistant for Team USA at the 2015 world championships in Czech Republic. The Sabres own the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and they are widely expected to select Eichel.’

The Sabres Report - May 23, 2015

Sabres captain gives leadership advice to student-athletes   

Buffalo News:

‘“You need to make sure everyone has a role and that no one is more important than anyone else,” Gionta said at a leadership seminar at Erie Community College South in Orchard Park.’

The Sabres Report - May 22, 2015

Sabres moving on from Babcock in coaching search   

Buffalo News:

‘“I just don’t feel like making the list public,” he said. “I’ve talked to one or two before Mike. I’ve talked to guys during and since and will continue to do so.”’

Babcock simply wanted Toronto over any other   

Buffalo News:

‘A source familiar with the Leafs’ negotiations said another key factor was that the Leafs front-loaded Babcock a bucket of money in the first two years of the deal, believed to be $8 million per season. The Sabres were not doing that as part of a long-term deal.’

Babcock simply played free agent game   

Buffalo News:

‘Pegula made a very strong offer. I believe Babcock when he says there was no deal. He had every right to see if the Leafs could match or beat it. If the Sabres “misread” the situation, it was only in underestimating what the folks at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment had in mind – and Babcock’s desire to coach at the Centre of the Hockey Universe.’

Mike Babcock, Tim Murray deny coach had deal to lead Sabres   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“I talked to lots of teams, and when you’re talking to teams, negotiation is in that process,” Babcock said this morning during his introductory news conference at the Air Canada Centre. “The hardest thing for the media to do was to figure out where I was going, because I had no idea where I was going … because it was a hard decision. We … went back and forth so many times trying to figure out what the right thing to do was.”’

Babcock denies deal done with Sabres   

Toronto Sun:

‘Asked by representatives of the Buffalo News and Buffalo station WGRZ-TV about whether a deal was signed and if he had lied to the Sabres, Babcock replied: “That ‘lying’ word is an interesting word. I’ve been in the public eye for a long, long time and I don’t think that goes anywhere near who I am or what I’m about.”’

Mike Babcock denies using Buffalo Sabres to secure better deal with Toronto Maple Leafs   

Ann Arbor News:

‘”We changed our mind, no a change of mind. We went back and forth so many times what the right thing was to do. If you think (Sabres owner) Terry Pegula isn’t a star you’re mistaken or that Mike Babcock and (Buffalo general manager) Tim Murray didn’t have a great relationship, that’s wrong too. “In the end I wanted to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs and my family, this was the best fit for my family. You put those together, that’s what happened.”‘

Sabres' Tim Murray discusses Babcock   

WGR-AM:

‘As far as the team moving forward, Bulldog wondered if Murray had a profile he’s looking for in his next head coach. He said, “No, I’m open minded about coaches, how does a guy like Mike Babcock get his start unless you are open minded. I guess there’s a possibility that I could interview a couple of guys for Rochester and be really impressed and maybe consider them for here, who knows. You could be blown away by a couple of guys, how prepared they are, the plan they have. These coaches are very smart, they’re very aware of analytics, they’re very aware of a lot of things, they come in and try to wow you.”’

The Sabres Report - May 21, 2015

Babcock falls to the Leafs   

Buffalo News:

‘The Sabres never entered a bidding war with the Leafs, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said. They were confident of their offer and waited for Babcock’s answer. They got it at 11:35 a.m., according to ESPN. It was not the answer they expected, leading to speculation that Babcock merely turned Buffalo’s offer into a more preferred one with Toronto.’

Sabres did all they could to bring Babcock to Buffalo   

Buffalo News:

‘This is not a massive defeat for the Sabres at all. They went head-long into a big-money derby and, by any measure, did all they could to get Babcock. You offer to make someone the highest-paid coach in NHL history and he doesn’t come, that’s on him. You did all you could.’

Losing Babcock to Toronto definitely hurts   

Buffalo News:

‘The Sabres weren’t ready to win, either, but prevailing wisdom said they were relatively close, and that Babcock could preside over a rapid rise in the standings and look good bringing along all that young talent. That and Pegula’s deep pockets seemed like an irresistible lure for the 52-year-old Babcock.’

Mike Babcock picks Leafs over Sabres, lands massive contract   

Olean Times Herald:

‘For one of the few times since he bought the team in 2011, Sabres owner Terry Pegula didn’t get what he wanted. Pegula and his wife, Kim, whose hiring of Rex Ryan to coach the Bills has been a hit, wooed Babcock when he visited Buffalo on May 10. The Sabres, according to multiple reports, felt confident earlier this week they had landed their man and were angry Babcock picked Toronto.’