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Report: Sabres granted permission to interview Bylsma for coaching job

The Sabres' search for a new coach is back underway, with Dan Bylsma reportedly next on the interview list.

Buffalo has been granted permission by the Penguins to interview Bylsma, ESPN reported Thursday. Permission is needed because he is still under contract with Pittsburgh despite being fired last summer.

The Penguins may be entitled to compensation in the form of a third-round pick if Buffalo hires Bylsma, but they can waive that right.

The Sabres had no immediate comment.

The Penguins booted Bylsma from their bench in an organizational shakeup despite playoff appearances in all six of his seasons. He went 252-117-32 and won the Stanley Cup in 2009 after replacing Michel Therrien at midseason.

The 44-year-old was well-liked by his players. Many were upset that the Penguins fired General Manager Ray Shero last May but kept Bylsma as a lame duck for three weeks before axing him when new GM Jim Rutherford took over.

“It’s not like Dan was a chump or something, but that’s how he was treated," defenseman Matt Niskanen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He won you guys a Cup, you know?”

Bylsma played 429 games as a forward in the NHL, skating for Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995 to 2004.

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