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Sabres hire Dan Bylsma as head coach

After interviewing Dan Bylsma on Wednesday and Thursday, the Sabres were convinced he was the right man for their coaching job.

Buffalo named Bylsma as the 17th coach in franchise history Thursday afternoon. He will be introduced at 4 p.m. in First Niagara Center.

The 44-year-old Bylsma spent six seasons behind the bench in Pittsburgh, leading the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2009 after taking over as a midseason replacement. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in 2011 and guided the Pens to division titles during his final two seasons. He was ousted in an organizational shakeup last spring.

Bylsma was the most well-known candidate remaining on the market. He reached 250 career wins faster than anyone in NHL history, achieving the milestone in only 395 games. He has a record of 252-117-32.

Failure to capture a second Cup with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin led Pittsburgh to fire Bylsma and General Manager Ray Shero after last season. Bylsma has a 43-35 record in the playoffs. The Penguins lost in the first round in 2011 and 2012; in the second round in 2010 and 2014; and in the Eastern Conference finals in 2013.

The Penguins, who had Bylsma under contract for one more season, are entitled to draft-pick compensation. The details of the compensation -- by rule, a third-round pick -- reportedly held up the deal. The Sabres have no third-round selections next month, but they own four in the 2016 draft.

"The rule and its interpretation are clear," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to The News. "But a Club has a right to waive its right to receive compensation."

Bylsma was out of the NHL this season but served as an assistant for the bronze medal-winning U.S. team at the world championships. He got an up-close look at future Sabres center Jack Eichel.

Bylsma was head coach for the United States at the 2014 Olympics, finishing in fourth place after a 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze-medal game.

Bylsma played 429 games as a forward in the NHL, skating for Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995 to 2004. Sabres GM Tim Murray was director of player personnel with the Ducks during two of Bylsma's seasons.

Bylsma played two games for the Rochester Americans during his first season as a professional, recording one assist in 1992-93. The Michigan native played collegiately at Bowling Green, where he was a Scholar-Athlete during all four of his seasons. He has a degree in accounting.

After retiring as a player in 2004, Bylsma spent one season as an assistant coach for the Ducks' minor-league team. He was an assistant for the New York Islanders in 2005-06 and worked for Pittsburgh's minor-league team for three seasons before replacing Michel Therrien in February 2009.

Bylsma earned the nickname "Disco Dan" during his playing days because of his tendency to dance in the dressing room. His wife's name is Mary Beth, and they have a son, Bryan.

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