Bill Guerin emerges on Sabres short-list

Since becoming owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, Terry Pegula is widely known to let his close friends influence hirings that have back fired.

This time around Pegula is taking a different approach.

He’s begun relying on other NHL owners and long-time establish NHL folks to do a proper landscape of the NHL GM scene.

While there’s lots of talk Pegula will go the re-tread veteran GM route and Pegula himself admitted he’s looking for experience, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin has emerged on Pegula’s short-list and was one of the first interviews conducted by the Sabres.

NHL sources say Pegula’s short-list of GM candidates is coming from a wide net of NHL executives he has reached out to.

Guerin whose stock has been rising throughout the NHL as a top GM candidate due to a reputation developing of being a great evaluator of talent, was a name Pegula was told from multiple NHL executives ‘you have to interview’ and it’s put Guerin immediately on the Sabres short-list.

Some talk among NHL executives is the Pegula’s are intrigued of having a GM who is a former ‘named’ NHL player everyone will recognize that can come in with a hands on approach.

There’s some thought Buffalo may go that route with the GM hire and then add a more veteran executive/former GM at the top of the hockey operations department that doesn’t have the official GM title.

Guerin’s rising stock around the league as a top GM candidate is more than just being a prominent former NHL player.

“He’s worked his ass off to put himself in the position he’s now in,” an Eastern conference executive said of Guerin being an early candidate for the Sabres opening.

Another executive who with Penguins connections that has also emerged on the Sabres radar is N[hide]ew Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald who will get an interview.