Even though Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula adamantly denies having contacted anyone for the newly vacant General Manager position on his hockey club, names have started to float to the top of the pile around the league. Nothing is further from being decided, but there is a list of candidates who would be on anyone’s list regardless of the city.
Dean Lombardi is the first name that came to everyone’s mind, jobless since he was fired by the Los Angeles Kings earlier this month. With two Stanley Cup rings and the respect of many around the game, he would clearly fit into the role that Pegula laid out. He said experience will be part of the decision this time around, and Lombardi has that in spades.
Assistant GMs may not have experience completely running a team, but they do have a ton of know-how in front offices and with contract structuring. Norm Maciver has been with the Blackhawks since 2006 in various roles, and held the AGM position since 2012 after Marc Bergevin moved into the Montreal vacancy. Julien BriseBois in Tampa Bay has been praised continuously for his success with the Syracuse Crunch, and has been mentioned as a candidate to take over a team several times over the past few years.
John Shannon of Sportsnet suggests that former Canucks GM Mike Gillis should be considered a candidate, and his predecessor Dave Nonis has been expected to get another chance after his short stint in Toronto. Both have checkered pasts in the GM position, but have the experience part of the requirement down pat.
There is also the issue of Brad Treliving in Calgary, whose deal is about to expire. He met with the media today and told Kristen Odland of Postmedia that his contract would “get dealt with when it gets dealt with.” If for any reason that contract doesn’t go through, he would be an easy target for the Sabres to bring in a respected name. There are tons of names that could possibly get the job, so we ask—who will be the next GM of the Buffalo Sabres?
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