The Sabres Report - May 22, 2015

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.’

Sabres reportedly 'livid' over losing Babcock to Leafs   

Toronto Sun:

‘Another report out of the Queen City said the Sabres were poised to have a press conference as early as Monday to introduce Babcock, with owner Terry Pegula’s money just too enticing to ignore.’

AP source: Buffalo Sabres out of running for Mike Babcock   

AP:

‘Potential candidates include former NHL coaches Dan Bylsma and Paul MacLean, and minor-league coach Luke Richardson.’

Sabres' feel burned by Babcock   

WGR-AM:

‘The Sabres now feel played as it seems like Babcock took the offer to Toronto last night or this morning. The Leafs were willing to let him make player personnel decisions while the Sabres were willing to make sure he was in on the conversations. The Sabres are now really wondering if he was planning on the Leafs all along.’

Bylsma highlights list of Sabres coaching candidates   

WGR-AM:

‘Amazingly, his time in Pittsburgh is still talked about as disappointing considering Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were on the roster, but the 2014-15 Penguins’ struggles and first-round-out made it apparent that the problems went deeper than coach.’

The Sabres Report - May 20, 2015

Mike Babcock is weighing a lucrative offer from the Sabres   

Buffalo News:

‘Money was merely one factor in Babcock’s decision, but it’s an important one on several levels. In addition to adding to his own bank account, Babcock has talked often of boosting the salaries of NHL coaches. The source inside that fraternity said Babcock doesn’t understand why hockey coaches are paid so much less than their professional sports counterparts. By accepting the Sabres’ offer, Babcock would significantly raise the bar for hockey’s bench bosses.’

Briere-Drury playoff thrills are a distant memory   

Buffalo News:

‘The NHL playoffs lose their charm for me when the Sabres aren’t involved. It’s not just the games, but the way the community gets caught up in a playoff run in the spring. There’s an inexorable momentum that pulls in marginal fans. People become emotionally invested in the team over a series of weeks.’

Sabres identify last 3 retailers for HarborCenter mini-mall   

Buffalo News:

‘Fowler’s Chocolates, Clayton’s Toys and Gifts and Modern Nostalgia are set to move in early July into retail space on the Main Street side of HarborCenter.’

Reports: Sabres negotiating with Mike Babcock, decision expected by morning   

Olean Times Herald:

‘It’s widely known Babcock would like to set a new standard for NHL coaches’ salaries.’

Babcock in contract talks with Sabres   

Detroit News:

‘Several reports out of Buffalo had Sabres owner Terry Pegula offering Babcock a financial package worth more than $50 million ($5 million yearly salary).’