Names added, removed as Sabres’ hiring search heats up

‘Buffalo is again talking with Kings Assistant GM Michael Futa. The 49-year-old was a candidate during the Sabres’ last GM search, but the job went to Tim Murray in January 2014. The Sabres fired Murray and coach Dan Bylsma last week.’

Playfair representing Sabres at NHL Draft Lottery

‘“The chances of us getting anything different are slim to none, but still I’m happy to represent the team,” Playfair said Friday.’

Sabres won’t get ‘headliner’ pick in NHL Draft Lottery

‘“You don’t have that headliner, like (people) used that word ‘generational’ player,” Dan Marr, the NHL’s director of Central Scouting, told the Times Herald on Friday. “The fact you had back-to-back years with McDavid and Eichel and Auston Matthews and Laine, those you get only one per decade, but we just happened to have them back-to-back years.”’

Rangers block Sabres from talking with Chris Drury

‘In his first year as the Rangers’ assistant general manager after one year as the director of player development, Drury seemingly has become a very valuable part of their front office under President Glen Sather and GM Jeff Gorton. So much so that when the Sabres recently asked for the Rangers’ permission to interview Drury for their open GM job, the request was denied.’

The Rangers declined Buffalo’s request to speak with Chris Drury

‘Drury played a big role in the Rangers landing of Jimmy Vesey.’

An executive shopping list for the Sabres

‘Gillis found a way to keep the Aquilinis in line in Vancouver, and the group enjoyed success with the Canucks. Gillis can be prickly and might be best suited for the president’s role. Leave the media and the day-to-day to Gilman and Henning. While they are at it, this group could grab Eric Crawford from Montreal and put him back in charge of player personnel. It’s a ready-made solution for the Sabres.’

The Sabres try to beat the odds at the NHL Draft Lottery

‘The odds of the Sabres winning the lottery and getting the first pick overall are 7.6-percent. They have a 7.8 percent chance of jumping to the second overall pick, and an eight-percent chance of drafting third overall.’

Drury will not interview for Sabres’ general manager position

‘According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Buffalo had asked permission from the New York Rangers to interview assistant general manager, and former Sabres captain Chris Drury. After some consultation between Drury and the Rangers, the team did not feel it was the right time for Drury to interview for a general manager job.’

Sabres interview Fitzgerald & Botterill for GM

‘A year ago the Blue & Gold selected Tom’s son Casey 86th overall in the NHL draft. The defenseman just wrapped up his sophomore season at Boston College.’

SOURCES: Sabres received permission to talk with Kings’ Mike Futa about GM opening

‘Futa was a candidate during the Sabres search for a GM back in 2013. He went deep into the process before Murray was tabbed as the next GM by then President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine.’

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

ANOTHER LOOK BACK AT THE 2016-17 SEASON (Amerks.com)

Some perspective on Buffalo’s No. 1 hockey ratings

‘While Buffalo was No. 1 among the Top 10 markets in rating, it was well down the list in total households because each rating point here is equal to far fewer households than most of the rest of the markets in the Top 10.’

Chris Drury won’t interview for vacant Sabres GM position

‘Drury, who is currently the assistant GM with the New York Rangers, played three seasons in Buffalo from 2003-2007.’

Source: Drury won’t interview for Sabres GM job

‘That being said, I didn’t expect Drury to get the job in the first place and he’s very inexperienced compared to some of the other options. This might just be a blessing in disguise.’

Sabres sign defense prospect Stephens to three-year deal

‘Stephens blossomed this season, his third with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League. After totaling six goals and 22 points in his first 136 games, Stephens recorded 13 goals and 35 points in 67 games this year. He added seven assists in 14 playoff games.’