Dan Bylsma coached Pittsburgh six seasons. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres receive Penguins’ permission to interview Dan Bylsma

In a not-so-surprising development, the Buffalo Sabres have received permission from the Pittsburgh Penguins to interview Dan Bylsma about their coaching vacancy, according to ESPN.com’s Craig Custance.

Bylsma coached the Penguins six seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 before getting fired in 2014. The 44-year-old is still under contract with the Penguins.

In an interview with WGR this afternoon, Sabres general manager Tim Murray wouldn’t confirm the report.

The Sabres’ main target, Mike ... Read the full article

Mike Babcock was introduced as Toronto's coach today. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mike Babcock says he didn’t have agreement with Sabres

New Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said today he never agreed to a deal to coach the Buffalo Sabres and didn’t use the team as leverage before signing an eight-year contract worth a reported $50 million with Toronto.

“I talked to lots of teams, and when you’re talking to teams, negotiation is in that process,” Babcock said this morning during his introductory news conference at the Air Canada Centre. “The hardest thing for the media ... Read the full article

Mike Babcock has an eight-year contract from Toronto. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mike Babcock picks Leafs over Sabres, lands massive contract

BUFFALO – As decision day approached, it appeared Mike Babcock, the prized free agent coach, had whittled his choices down to two teams: Detroit, where he had spent 10 seasons guiding the Red Wings, or the rebuilding Sabres, a team stocked with young talent and willing to break to the bank.

By most accounts, the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of about five teams Babcock had spoken to, had fallen out of the picture.

But the ... Read the full article

Mike Babcock got a reported $50 million from Toronto. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mike Babcock lands record deal with Leafs

BUFFALO – As decision day approached, it appeared Mike Babcock, the prized free agent coach, had whittled his choices down to two teams: Detroit, where he had spent 10 seasons guiding the Red Wings, or the rebuilding Sabres, a team stocked with young talent and willing to break to the bank.

By most accounts, the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of about five teams Babcock had spoken to, had fallen out of the picture by Tuesday.... Read the full article

The Sabres had a strong interest in Mike Babcock. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres out of running for Mike Babcock; Update: Leafs hire coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres are out of the running for coach Mike Babcock, TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted early this afternoon.

Update: The Toronto Maple Leafs, a team thought to be out of the sweepstakes just a day ago, have signed Babcock to a stunning eight-year deal worth around $50 million, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friendman and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun also tweeted the hiring.

Update: The Leafs have officially announced the signing.

Here’s ... Read the full article

Mike Babcock has coached Detroit since 2005. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres negotiating with Mike Babcock, decision expected by morning

BUFFALO – The Mike Babcock sweepstakes is almost over, and the coveted coach could join the Sabres as soon as Wednesday.

According to the Associated Press, the Sabres and Babcock negotiated by phone today.

When reached by the Detroit Free Press and asked if he was leaving the Red Wings, the team he has coached since 2005, Babcock replied, “Not sure, know by morning.” He gave no further comment.

It’s believed the Sabres have offered ... Read the full article

Mike Babcock visited the Sabres last week. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mike Babcock’s decision expected Wednesday

Finally, the Mike Babcock watch is almost over, with a decision on his future expected Wednesday.

The Detroit Red Wings coach plans to meet with general manager Ken Holland today before talking with his family tonight, according to MLive.com.

At this point, it appears two teams – the Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres – are vying for Babcock’s services. The 52-year-old, who was given permission to shop his services before his contract expires June ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks Sunday after firing Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of interesting names could be available to coach Sabres

BUFFALO – For the first time since the Sabres replaced Ted Nolan following his initial run almost 18 years ago, the team must search for a new coach.

Yes, it has really been that long.

Lindy Ruff, Nolan’s replacement in 1997, lasted until 2013, when former Sabres general manager Darcy Regier quickly promoted Ron Rolston from Rochester as interim coach. Regier removed the interim tag following the season without interviewing anyone.

Nolan immediately took... Read the full article