Dan Bylsma put the “Gone fishin’” sign on his door following Sunday’s game. No, really.
“If the weather is what it says it’s going to be, I’ll have maybe a few opportunities to wet the line and catch fish,” the Sabres’ coach said in KeyBank Center.
Temperatures are scheduled to reach the low 50s this week in Buffalo, which will allow Bylsma to get outside often. He won’t have anything else going on.
The Sabres’ inaugural bye week begins Monday. The Sabres scattered after Sunday’s meeting with Chicago, and they won’t reunite until Friday when they fly to Colorado for Saturday’s game against the Avalanche.
While the Sabres are off, the other teams in the Eastern Conference will have a chance to reel them in or throw them overboard.
Buffalo is in the middle of a packed Eastern Conference, but it has played the most games (60). The other teams will catch up this week, giving the Sabres a more accurate gauge of where they really stand.
When Buffalo’s bye ends, Florida, Toronto, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Detroit and both New York teams will also have played 60 games. Montreal and Boston will be at 61, while Ottawa will be at 59. Only Carolina will be off the pace at 57.
Depending on the outcomes, Buffalo could find itself as low as 15th in the 16-team conference or within just a few points of the playoffs.
For the second straight game, Buffalo played without Sam Reinhart. The right winger was still suffering from the flu.
“He’s still under the weather,” Bylsma said, “hasn’t been able to get some food in him or a meal. He wasn’t looking too good.”
No team claimed Taylor Fedun on waivers, so the Sabres followed through with their plan to send him to Rochester. He skated on the Amerks’ top defensive pairing Sunday night.
Fedun has seven assists and a plus-3 rating in 25 games with Buffalo. He put up four goals and 17 points in his opening 20 games with Rochester.
“That was a little nervous that he wouldn’t squeak through there,” Bylsma said of the waiver process. “He did. He’s a good part of the depth of the defensive corps. He’s been able to play some big games for us and some good games for us. We still have that in our bag.”
Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Sabres and Bills, has announced promotions in its executive management team. Bruce Popko has been named chief operating officer while Erica Muhleman has been promoted to executive vice president of business development.
Popko inherits the role formerly held by Russ Brandon, who was previously promoted to managing partner and president of PSE. Popko will oversee day-to-day operations of all Pegula Sports and Entertainment entities. Muhleman assumes Popko’s former job.
“Since launching PSE almost three years ago, our business operation has grown considerably,” Kim Pegula said. “Bruce and Erica have both been instrumental in the merging of many aspects of the Bills and Sabres business operations, along with HarborCenter and the many additional entities under our umbrella. We are going to rely on their experience to help identify future needs and orchestrate the expansion of our operation going forward.”