#coachwatchover

Mike Babcock has coached Detroit since 2005. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

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 Babcock, who visited with Buffalo owners Terry and …

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Mike Babcock visited the Sabres last week. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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 30, visited with Sabres owners Terry and Kim …

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Mike Babcock visited the Sabres on Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Mike Babcock will decide his future by Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings coach told TSN’s Darren Dreger.

In an interview broadcast late this afternoon, Babcock, who has been granted permission by the Red Wings to shop his services before his contract expires June 30, said, “I bet you by (May) 20th I know what I’m doing.”

Babcock, who has coached Detroit since 2005, spent Sunday meeting with Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and general manager Tim Murray in Buffalo before flying …

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Connor McDavid has 45 points in 18 playoff games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

For 22 years, former Buffalo Sabres winger Jason Dawe had no idea he owned one of junior hockey’s most prestigious records. Then his phone rang last week. A Canadian reporter left a message informing Dawe that mega-prospect Connor McDavid was approaching his Ontario Hockey League playoff mark of 51 points.

Dawe, now a hockey instructor in Charlotte, looked at his phone and thought, “What?”

“You think over the course of 22 years somebody would’ve picked up the phone and told me, right?” …

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Mike Babcock hasn't missed the playoffs since 2004. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

So Mike Babcock, hockey’s most coveted “free agent,” visited Buffalo on Sunday. The Detroit Red Wings coach toured HarborCenter with Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and general manager Tim Murray, according to an employee’s tweet. Channel 7 later had footage of Babcock leaving the First Niagara Center.

Of course, it’s hardly surprising the Sabres are interested in Babcock, who was given permission by Detroit on Friday to shop his services before his contract expires June 30. The Pegulas’ hire of Rex …

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Justin Bailey scored 34 goals in 57 games in 2014-15. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Justin Bailey had known for months the rebuilding Kitchener Rangers would likely try to trade him to an Ontario Hockey League contender.

Still, when the team offered the youngster a deal to the powerhouse Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in early January, Bailey, who had a no-trade clause, wrestled with his decision.

“It was very, very difficult,” the high-scoring winger said Wednesday.

The 19-year-old Williamsville native loved playing in Kitchener, which is about two hours from Buffalo. The close proximity …

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John Wroblewski spent two seasons in Rochester. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired Rochester Americans assistant coach John Wroblewski, another holdover from the team’s old regime.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle first reported the news. Wroblewski later confirmed it in a tweet, writing, “Words won’t explain how much I enjoy the city of Rochester! However, I’m already excited for my next professional challenge, wherever it is!”

Sabres general manager Tim Murray fired Amerks head coach Chadd Cassidy on Friday. Both Cassidy and Wroblewski were hires during the Darcy Regier …

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Chadd Cassidy joined the Sabres organization in 2011. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Rochester Americans coach Chadd Cassidy today, ending his four-year run with the organization, the last two of which he spent leading the AHL club.

Since Cassidy was a holdover from the Darcy Regier regime, it was expected Sabres general manager Tim Murray would let the 41-year-old go. Cassidy’s contract expires this summer. Murray has been bringing in his own men. He fired Ted Nolan as Sabres coach earlier this month.

“I’d like to thank Chadd for all …

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The Sabres plan to select Jack Eichel in June. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Slick 18-year-old Jack Eichel briefly showcased some of his slick skills during Team USA’s 5-1 win over Finland in its world championship opener today, generating two strong chances in about a minute.

First, the future Buffalo Sabres center fired high on goalie Pekka Rinne after smoothly moving from the point area to the left circle with about seven minutes left in the second period. Later, Rinne stoned the Boston University superstar’s quick wrist shot from the left circle.

In 14 minutes, 47 …

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Evan Rodrigues signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Sabres on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Yes, Evan Rodrigues said, he thought about potentially playing with Jack Eichel again before signing a two-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres. But there was more to the 21-year-old winger’s decision than being reunited with his slick Boston University linemate.

Rodrigues chose the Sabres before Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery guaranteed them the second selection in the upcoming draft, a pick they will almost certainly use to select Eichel, whose talents could potentially change the franchise.

The undrafted free agent whittled …

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