The Sabres Report - April 22, 2017

Amerks coach Dan Lambert a likely casualty of Sabres shakeup   

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

‘Lambert, 47, can’t be eliminated as a candidate to return to the Amerks as coach but it’s not likely.’

Owner Terry Pegula hopes overhaul changes Sabres   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“Accountability starts with me,” Pegula said. “We are not happy with our season this year, and there are no excuses.”’

Buffalo Bills and Sabres owner Terry Pegula seems to have learned from Rex Ryan mess   

Syracuse Post Standard:

‘Now Pegula has to actually deliver a winner. He’s appeared in over his head with both franchises at times. Maybe he’s starting to learn some lessons along the way. He’s certainly leaning on discipline, structure and communication as his new buzz words.’

Terry Pegula insists the Buffalo Sabres didn't 'tank' for Jack Eichel   

Syracuse Post Standard:

‘”I don’t want to talk about the past,” Pegula said. “A lot of teams go through rebuilds. Hope to lose? We do not hope to lose. We went through a rebuild. I don’t understand why I’ve read an article by one of you gentleman about how Cleveland (Browns) is going through a rebuild but the Sabres tanked. One city can rebuild? You can’t have it both ways.”‘

What Terry Pegula had to say about firing Sabres coach, GM (transcript)   

Syracuse Post Standard:

‘Without disclosing specifics on this search, we are going to find the best candidates that we will bring into our organization to achieve our goals. The structure will land depending on the first person that we bring in, what his attitude is and how we should work together.’

Ownership Right To Go In Different Direction   

Jamestown Post Journal:

‘The next front office of the Sabres is going to need to restock the system and know how to work in a salary-cap era when very few players at the top of the roster take up so much of the team’s payroll. Nowadays in the NHL, young players are essential to fill out the third and fourth lines.’

Pegula takes ownership for Sabres' futility, promises culture change   

Toronto Sun:

‘The bottom line here: Pegula has shown an outstanding ability to refurbish the neighbourhoods surrounding the KeyBank Center. Now let’s see if he can do the same with the product inside the building.’

Pegula seeks established GM to instill discipline in Sabres   


‘Potential candidates with experience include: recently fired Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi ; Dave Nonis, currently a consultant with the Anaheim Ducks; and Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Norm Maciver.

Sabres should have been hiring instead of firing   


‘None of what Pegula did in the last few days is particularly surprising. This is what billionaire owners do when they’re not happy.’

Pegula: 'We will move forward with new leadership'   


‘”Experience is going to be a key in our search. Without disclosing specific details about what our plan is, out plan may change as we start talking to people, but the plan is to build a stronger organization from top to bottom.”‘

O'Reilly said he didn't see the changes running this deep   


‘“It’s unfortunate you don’t want to see people go, I enjoyed playing for them and when there isn’t success, changes are going to be made and it happens, so I have to worry about myself and being a better player.”’

Gionta talks about Murray and Bylsma   


‘Now that Bylsma gone Gionta may have some ideas on what this team needs. He said, “Terry talked about it this morning, accountability, somebody that’s going to come in, right the ship and make sure that everyone is accountable on and off the ice for what’s happening and it doesn’t need to be a hardline guy, it just needs to be someone that can keep the pulse of the team.”’

Who is running the Sabres?   


‘The team missed the playoffs by 17 points and went backwards instead of forwards. Pegula was asked what he feels his mistakes have been. He had one that seems to stick with him, “I can tell you that I was not involved in the last general manager/coach search to a large extent and I regret that move.”’

Pegula has created habit of paying coaches not to coach   


‘So of the sevcn, soon to be eight, coaches Pegula has paid them for roughly 10 seasons to coach and will pay them nine seasons not to coach. That nine years doesn’t include Ruff or Rolston who we don’t know the details of. The funny part is you could argue the two coaches Pegula inherited, may be the best of the bunch.’

Murray's drafts and trades   


‘Other than Kulikov, Murray did nothing for the defense. He overestimated the talents of Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges. Gorges can still play well on a third pair, but at 33-years-old in August, he can’t be out there with Rasmus Ristolainen.’