Dan Bylsma will push offense as Sabres’ new coach

‘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

‘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

‘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.’

Bylsma praises ‘elite’ Eichel, cites experience of coaching star players

‘“I probably learned as much from working with those players — Sidney and Evgeni — as they learned from me. I think it’s going to be applicable to the likes of Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, who are going to be viewed in that same light, that same scope that star players are put into.”’

Dan Bylsma all about Sabres’ success, not shaming Penguins

‘Mike Babcock was the prize of the Sabres’ coaching search, before he opted to take the Toronto Maple Leafs’ blockbuster offer. But like with Eichel, it’s not like they’re settling for Bylsma. He’s a solid pro and a geat teacher for young players. Plus, he’s had similar NHL success to Babcock – well, save for Sochi – and has actually beaten Babcock for a title – well, again, save for Sochi.’

Bylsma faces big rebuilding challenge in taking over Sabres

‘From Grand Haven, Michigan, Bylsma is a former NHL forward, who made his professional debut by playing two games with the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester in 1992-93. After bouncing around the minors, he eventually played parts of nine seasons with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks before retiring in 2004.’

Sabres name Bylsma head coach

‘However, after the Pens won the Stanley Cup in 2009, the club won just four playoff series in the subsequent five seasons and twice lost a series in which the club held a 3-1 advantage.’

Penguins’ Bylsma named Sabres coach

‘The Penguins are assured a third-round draft choice in return, and Bylsma is likely to command a healthy salary to replace Ted Nolan in Buffalo.’

Extra from Sabres’ Bylsma and Murray

‘When you move to the blue line, things are different. Bylsma said, “The pieces while they’re good, they’re young they’re developing defensemen, but they’re good players. The other players that are coming to the Sabres, Sam Reinhart, they’re going to be very, very good young players, but they are developing, but they’re surrounded with good people, they’re surrounded with Josh Gorges, their surrounded with Brian Gionta who I think are exceptional leaders.”’

Sabres hire Dan Bylsma as Head Coach

‘In 2008-09, his first year as an NHL head coach, Bylsma took over a Pittsburgh team that ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference with just 25 games remaining in the regular season. Under Bylsma, the Penguins went 18-3-4 to finish the season fourth in the conference before going 16-8 in the playoffs on the way to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 16 years.’

Bylsma brings winning pedigree to Buffalo

‘“Character guy, great teammate, fearless shot blocker, would do anything to win,” Van Boxmeer gushed on Thursday. “He was a thinking man’s player and a student of the game. Not loud or boisterous in the room, just a solid citizen.”’

Bylsma sees bright future with Sabres

‘“To me, he’s a winner. He knows what it takes to get there, how to perform when you are there,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said at Bylsma’s introductory press conference at First Niagara Center. “So there are a lot of lessons he can give to young players. That’s part of the culture. We’ve been trying to change the culture here every day. But this is a big swing to the positive.”’

Bylsma an ‘excellent choice’ to coach Sabres

‘Bylsma integrated young defensemen into the lineup and helped them grow and expand their games. The Sabres have some very promising young defensemen on their team and in the pipeline and they will have an opportunity to do similar things under Bylsma.’

Dan Bylsma has a fan in the Bills football department

‘“If you want it and you have a case for something to make the Sabres a better team, a team that can consistently compete for championships, don’t ever hesitate to ask them,” he said he would tell the new Sabres coach. “They will give you anything and everything you need to get the job done.”’