The Buffalo Sabres have interviewed Dave Tippett for their head coaching vacancy, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
In his weekly “31 Thoughts” column, Friedman said the talk with Tippett, who has coached the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes, “went very well.”
After firing Phil Housley, a first-time head coach, the Sabres reportedly want to hire someone more experienced. Tippett, 57, has spent 14 seasons as an NHL head coach. He finished an eight-year run with the Coyotes in 2016-17.
Friedman also confirmed the Sabres’ interest in veteran coach Jacques Martin, which was first reported last week. Martin worked with Sabres general manager Jason Botterill with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rikard Romberg, Sweden’s national team coach, is also expected to be in the mix, according to Friedman.
Sheldon Keefe, whose Toronto Marlies just swept the Rochester Americans, in the first round of the playoffs, impressed the Sabres, according to Friedman. Keefe, 38, has never coached in the NHL.
Tippett, a former forward, played 721 NHL games over 12 seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Flyers. He also represented Canada in the 1984 and 1992 Olympics.
Following his retirement in 1995, Tippett began his coaching career with the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros. After winning a Turner Cup championship in 1998-99, he moved up to the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant.
Tippett began his six-year run in Dallas in 2002-03. The Stars made the playoffs five times, had back-to-back 50-win seasons and reached the Western Conference final in 2007-08 under Tippett.
He’s one of six coaches to lead his team to consecutive 50-win campaigns.
In 2009-10, his first season in Arizona, Tippett led the Coyotes to 50 wins and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year. Arizona made the postseason in its first three seasons and reached the Western Conference final in 2011-12 under Tippett.
Tippett has been serving as a senior adviser to Seattle’s expansion team.