Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only TIOPS Latest NHL Buzz: Sabres GM Search; Active Summer for Devils; FLA eyeing Pens assistant coach?

Latest NHL Buzz

*Rumblings, Musings & Opinions*

Shero to be active this summer

The New Jersey Devils winning the draft lottery is only going to add to what’s going to be an a likely big summer in Jersey.

Ownership there has given Shero the go-ahead to be aggressive and spend this summer to start competing quickly in a daunting Metropolitan Division.

On the trade market, the Devils are already trying to make a play for Jonathan Drouin who the Lightning are putting out there in trade talks again and the chatter for months has been that Shero and his staff are prepared to throw big bucks at Kevin Shattenkirk who has been a major disappointment in Washington.

Another name scouts, executives say the Devils will be all over?

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Then there’s the question whether Ilya Kovalchuk returns to the Devils or works out a sign and trade to be dealt to Florida or Tampa Bay, two destinations he eyes.

Going to be an interesting and big summer for Shero.

Sabres interviewing the right people

Although the Buffalo Sabres are just concluding their first set of interviews with candidates, interviewing Columbus assistant GM Bill Zito on Saturday, talk around the league is the Pegula’s intend to have a GM in place by the end of next week.

The Mike Futa rumors as a leading candidate are certainly out there but there’s been increasing chatter among NHL executives in the last couple days that no one should be surprised if the Sabres hire Tom Fitzgerald as General Manager and Eddie Olczyk becomes the hockey czar of the organization in a role that would be similar to being the President of all Hockey Operations.

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This isn’t some homer view, but if the Sabres want to get things right, Bill Guerin as GM and Jason Botterill as the President of Hockey Operations would be a good first step to the Sabres turning things around.

Botterill is very experienced in a lot of areas, working with the NHL then under Ray Shero and now Jim Rutherford for several seasons.

The knock on Botterill around the league on why he’s been past up for other jobs is that he doesn’t interview well and has this reputation about him that he’s more of a numbers/contracts guy than a player evaluator that many owners are looking for.

That said, he has a great hockey mind on how an organization needs to be ran and would be an ideal pick to oversee all organizational aspects as that President of Hockey Operations figure many teams are now adopting and be that behind the scenes hockey czar for the Sabres organization, while Guerin just has GM in the making written all over him, many NHL executives believe.

He’s an excellent evaluator of talent and a great communicator with players, two key areas the Pegula’s are seeking that’s put him on their radar.

Maybe the Pegula’s go ahead and hand the keys to close friend Eddie Olcyzk, but Buffalo fans should be pleased that the Sabres are interviewing the right people from Mike Futa, Tom Fitzgerald, Jason Botterill and Bill Guerin, among others.

Just remains to be seen how long the hire or hires will get to turn the Sabres around.

— Coaching Buzz: NHL Source: Panthers interested in Penguins Assistant
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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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