When the Buffalo Sabres fired both head coach Dan Bylsma and GM Tim Murray this morning, they effectively cleaned house and set themselves up to start all over again from the top down. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet now reports that it wasn’t just those two that were shown the door, but also Director of Pro Scouting Rob Murphy and Director of Amateur Scouting Greg Royce. It’s very surprising that these two would be let go so close to both the entry and expansion drafts, as whoever comes in will have to rely entirely on the scouts themselves to work through the process.
Perhaps Buffalo has a plan in place already, as both Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News and Chuck Gormley each have heard the name Norm MacIver in consideration for the position. Don’t count the Blackhawks’ assistant GM as hired yet, but he has long been thought of as a future GM in the league and would be a solid hire for the Sabres. For now, Sabres’ owner Terry Pegula will address the media tomorrow to explain all of the decisions, and likely give some insight as to where the team goes from here.
- Jim Montgomery will interview for the vacant Florida Panthers position according to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. The college coach who led the University of Denver to victory over UMD in the NCAA Championship game, will meet with the Panthers in the next 7-10 days to see if there is a fit. Chambers says that Montgomery leaving could prompt several players to leave the school early and turn pro, as they committed to working with him and not whoever would follow in the position. Earlier this month it was reported that Henrik Borgstrom will return for his sophomore season, but he could easily follow Montgomery to Florida should he choose. The 19-year old was a first round pick of the Panthers last summer.
- The Calgary Flames have sent Jon Gillies back to the Stockton Heat for their playoff series after he watched the Anaheim Ducks defeat his NHL club. Gillies was serving as the emergency goaltender in Calgary and will now return to Stockton where he played the majority of the year. The Heat also signed Tyler Parsons to an amateur tryout today, meaning the goaltending situation in Stockton is quite full. Gillies will likely get the lion’s share of the starts in the postseason.
- In a story that just won’t go away, Don Henderson—the linesman injured by a blindside Dennis Wideman hit last season—has filed a $10.25MM lawsuit against Wideman and the Flames organization, according to Rick Westhead of TSN. Henderson has never returned to the league, and according to Westhead is now claiming he “has suffered a limitation of activities and loss of enjoyment of life” and a long list of medical symptoms from this incident.