Lombardi, Schoenfeld, Housley among names considered for Sabres vacancies

Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman break down the biggest stories in the NHL, focusing on the Buffalo Sabres’ search for a coach and Ilya Kovalchuk potentially coming back to the NHL.

The Buffalo Sabres have some vacancies to fill now that they’ve fired GM Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma.

According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, some names are already popping up.

Kypreos named former Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi as an obvious candidate. “But another one I’m starting to hear is Jim Schoenfeld, presently with the New York Rangers,” he said during Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada.

The current Rangers assistant GM and former NHL defenceman was drafted by Buffalo in 1972 and played 11 seasons with the team.

And Schoenfeld isn’t the only name surfacing with a connection to the Sabres.

Kypreos also named Phil Housley, another ex–Buffalo Sabre. Housley is currently an associate coach with the Nashville Predators and could be in contention for Bylsma’s old job.

“His chances didn’t hurt any [by] winning against the Chicago Blackhawks,” Kypreos said, referencing the Predators’ ousting of Chicago in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — via sweep, no less.

And while Sabres owner Terry Pegula said this week that he wants a coach with NHL experience, Elliotte Friedman noted that experience won’t be the only factor.

“In addition to experience, they want progressive thinking,” he said.

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