Kukla's Korner Hockey
As an analyst, based on what we've seen/heard, the prevailing sentiment is Babcock will stay in DET. That appears to be conventional wisdom
But I have to tell you, based strictly on not much more than instincts, I could see Babcock ending up in BUF. Like I said, just a hunch.
If I had to bet big bucks of my own money, I'd probably wager DET. If I could lay down a loonie or twoonie with a big payoff, I'd pick BUF.
-Bob McKenzie via Twitter this morning.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Tim Murray wants to make one thing clear -- he's thrilled that he's likely getting Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the June NHL draft.
"We love him," the Buffalo Sabres GM told ESPN.com Sunday, one day after seeing the Edmonton Oilers win the draft lottery in a bit of an upset.
Sure, Murray was disappointed Saturday night after losing the lottery, that's the competitor in him, he doesn't want to lose at anything.
But he's thrilled, as was the likeliest scenario all season, that the Sabres will get a great player in Eichel.
"People took my comments last night as an insult to Jack Eichel, that's the furthest thing from the truth, I love Jack Eichel," said Murray, referring to him saying he was disappointed for the Sabres fans.
“If you can pick 1 or 2, you’re going to choose 1. f you’re going to make a trade and they offer you the best defenseman in the league or the second-best defenseman in the league, you’re going to want the best. Anytime you can get 1 vs. 2 in any walk of life, you’re going to want one. But we came up here with an expectation we’d probably be picking No. 2 and we’re going to deal with it. There’s no issue there.”
Tim Murray, GM of the Buffalo Sabres. More from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
In Tim Murray’s perfect world, the Sabres’ general manager would be good buddies with his coach. They would respect each other, chat often and agree on how personnel decisions should be made. Murray didn’t have that with Ted Nolan, so the GM is looking for a new coach.
Buffalo fired Nolan on Sunday, one day after the Sabres finished their second straight last-place season. There is no timetable for hiring a replacement.
“We both said it’s too bad it didn’t work out,” Murray said in First Niagara Center. “Is it chemistry? Maybe it’s just chemistry. Maybe it’s just two different personalities. You need chemistry on the ice, and you need chemistry off the ice....
The Sabres’ search could be intriguing. While Murray has long been fond of Luke Richardson, a minor-league coach hired by Murray when he was assistant GM in Ottawa, several big names could be available. Detroit’s Mike Babcock, a Stanley Cup winner, is in the final year of his contract but is unavailable until after the Red Wings are eliminated from the playoffs. Boston could fire Claude Julien, another Cup-winning coach.
BUFFALO, N.Y (April 12, 2015) -- Buffalo Sabres General Manger Tim Murray today announced Ted Nolan has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. In addition, Murray also announced Danny Flynn has been relieved of his duties as an assistant coach and the contracts of Bryan Trottier and Tom Coolen will not be renewed.
added 8:50pm, GM Tim Murray met with the media, watch velow...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
For more than a year, Buffalo fans have been dreaming of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. The thought of watching one of them become a superstar in a Sabres jersey made folks shake with excitement. It made the on-ice suffering bearable because of the chance for a limitless future.
It’s no longer just a dream. Either McDavid or Eichel will be a member of the Sabres next season. One will skate out to center ice on opening night as the new face of the franchise.
The team’s last-gasp effort to avoid 30th place came to an end Friday night with a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Buffalo will head into Saturday’s season finale against Pittsburgh assured of drafting first or second in June, a position that will be finalized with next Saturday’s draft lottery.
Though the players were disappointed to finish last for the second straight season, the organization achieved the goal it set back in April 2013. It will build through the draft by landing a generational prospect. McDavid set an Erie Otters record by scoring five goals Friday night, while Eichel became just the second freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
This is the night it can mercifully be over. All of it.
The Tank talk. The fan-on-fan and media-on-media barking. The social media sniping. The late nights at the television or computer screens watching horrific performances from the Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers.
Same for the crowds at First Niagara Center openly chanting and cheering for the visiting team, leaving the Buffalo Sabres sullenly shaking their heads in the dressing room about a phenomenon almost never seen in professional sports.
The masses will almost certainly be partaking in that distasteful practice for the fourth straight home game when the Carolina Hurricanes take the ice against the Sabres here Monday. But at this point, 79 games into a lost season, it’s hard to argue.
With one more regulation loss, the Sabres will clinch 30th place in the NHL’s overall standing for the second straight year.
Whether Kane will be the centrepiece of an exciting rebuild in Buffalo; whether he’ll stay healthy; whether he’ll achieve that 50-goal season he says is in his future; whether his track suits will stay out of the shower. A lot of eyes will be on this new-look Sabres team, and on Kane, though No. 9 has never been one to avoid the spotlight. “That’s what sports is,” he says. “It’s an entertainment business.”
-Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet where you can read much more on Evander Kane.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
There was an overtime winner scored Thursday night in First Niagara Center that sent tons of folks home happy. It was accompanied by loud cheers with fans leaping out of their seats, many with arms in the air.
One thing was missing: The goal horn. That’s because the goal wasn’t scored by the Sabres.
It came from Arizona’s Sam Gagner and gave the Coyotes a 4-3 win over Buffalo in a game played through what has to rate as one of the most awkward atmospheres in franchise history.
In the bizarro world of Tankapalooza 2015, Thursday’s defeat rates as a major victory in the turtle race for 30th overall in the NHL. The Coyotes moved six points ahead of Buffalo in 29th place. Buffalo has a game in hand but only eight games left, including Monday’s rematch in Glendale, Ariz.
It looks like a huge deficit for Buffalo to overcome. The fact is, however, the masses’ obsession with Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel means they want no part of it getting wiped out.
from Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News,
The motivation in the Buffalo Sabres locker room is clear and simple: Avoid finishing last.
That may ruffle the feathers of some in the team’s fan base who actively want the Sabres to finish 30th, thereby guaranteeing them at least the No. 2 overall draft pick. But athletes and coaches are wired to compete and at this point in the Sabres’ season, the most attainable goal they can compete for is 29th place.
“For sure you want to finish as high as you can,” Sabres captain Brian Gionta said Wednesday afternoon after practice in First Niagara Center. “In a season like this you gotta find little things to set your sights on and that’s definitely one of them.”
The stakes for 30th place are high Thursday night as the Sabres host the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes are coming off an overtime win at Detroit, putting them five points ahead of the Sabres. Buffalo has nine games remaining, Arizona eight. They will meet again on Monday night in Arizona.
“Nobody wants to be in the position our two teams are in. Not one player,” Coyotes forward Shane Doan said. “You’re embarrassed. You have to be. Nobody ever wants to be considered the worst. Obviously, both teams are considered the two worst teams in the league. That’s not a good feeling.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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