Though it was expected that the Buffalo Sabres were waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals to finish before jumping on the chance to interview the excellent group of assistant coaches on both teams, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that they actually did not reach out to Rick Tocchet in consideration for the head coaching vacancy. It is still expected that they will interview Phil Housley from the Nashville Predators, though Dreger also tells us that they’re close enough to expect a decision by Monday.
Tocchet is currently an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins and has been since being fired from his first head coaching gig with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a season and a half behind the bench in Tampa, Tocchet compiled a 53-69-26 record, but is expected to get another job at some point in the future. It won’t be in Buffalo, and that’s just fine with the Penguins as they’ll look to keep their excellent staff—Tocchet, Mike Sullivan and Jacques Martin—in tact for a run at a third straight cup next season.
Buffalo on the other hand will go with someone else, perhaps Housley or another name that has been linked in the past. Todd Reirden and Clark Donatelli are also still options, though Bob Boughner is now off the market after being hired by Florida for their open job. Whoever it is will be announced soon, as GM Jason Botterill has long said he wanted to have a coach in place by the entry draft.