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NHL Rumours: Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another batch of NHL rumorus. We’ve reached the end of the 2023-24 NHL regular season. However, the hard part now starts for some teams. A total of 16 teams missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs and have some decisions to make. Some teams will be looking for a new head coach. However, others will be looking for a new general manager. Today’s NHL rumours focuses on two teams that missed out on the post-season extravaganza. We shift our focus to the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets in this edition.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: The Athletic’s Matthew Fairburn looked at who General Manager Kevyn Adams might have his eye on to be the new Sabres head coach.

Analysis: Buffalo missed out on the playoffs once again and the natives are getting restless in Western New York. Adams remarked that he wants a coach that has some pedigree and experience. Reports said that Adams could already be talking to candidates about the vacancy.

Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind’Amour appeared at the top of the list due to his contract wrapping up at the end of the season. However, even Fairburn admits this is a pie-in-the-sky option for the team. It’s likely that Hurricanes management is going to wrap up the deal with the veteran bench boss soon.

The list also features a number of names that are currently not tethered to another club. One of the names featured on the list was Lindy Ruff, who was the last man to lead the Sabres to the post-season. Is a reunion possible or even worth it at this point?

Other names included on the list are as follows Craig Berube, Bruce Boudreau, Dean Evason, Gerard Gallant, Todd McLellan, and Jay Woodcroft. A controversial name that appeared at the end of the list is former Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. However, that hire would have a lot of baggage. The list could expand if the Pittsburgh Penguins fire Mike Sullivan or the Toronto Maple Leafs part ways with Sheldon Keefe. Regardless, Adams wants to move quickly.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rumour: Aaron Portzline of The Athletic gave an update on the team’s general manager search and some of the decisions that need to be made early.

Analysis: Columbus hasn’t held an off-season general manager search since the summer of 2007. Blue Jackets President Mike Priest and President of Hockey Operations John Davidson have gone through the list and are getting ready to schedule interviews. Some of those may have already started as soon as Tuesday.

The Jackets might have to wait a while to complete their search. This could be especially true if the team is waiting on a candidate that’s working for a club in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Davidson and company are likely to be very thorough in their search.

Whoever gets the gig will have some early decisions waiting them. Columbus forwards Yegor Chinakhov, Kent Johnson, Kirill Marchenko, Alex Nylander, Cole Sillinger, and Alexandre Texier are all restricted free agents. Jake Bean, Nick Blankenburg, and Jake Christiansen and goaltender Jet Greaves are all also RFAs in the coming off-season.

According to Portzline, Davidson has already informed the players’ agents that talks likely won’t begin until a new GM is in place. The agents all understand, but this could cut into time their respective clients could be using to negotiate with other teams. However, the Jackets can match any offer.

Columbus has actually never gone through an arbitration case in the history of the franchise. A lengthy GM search could pose a problem should the team have to go through one or more arbitration cases. Those go through a lengthy process and can be tedious. The new Blue Jackets GM likely won’t have time to ease into the position.

Main photo by: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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