Terry and Kim Pegula have their hands full.
The owners of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres are juggling vacancies at general manager for each team, a situation they created when Doug Whaley was fired from his post with the Bills on Sunday.
In addressing that decision during a press conference, Terry Pegula said the Sabres were close to having a “final answer.” The search for the Bills, Pegula said, will “begin immediately” although he later cautioned that there has yet to be "one discussion regarding who our candidate is."
That hasn't stopped dots from being connected, though.
Here is an initial look at 10 of the top potential candidates to replace Whaley.
• Brandon Beane, assistant general manager, Carolina Panthers: Beane has a relationship with Bills coach Sean McDermott from their six years together in Carolina. The 39-year-old has been in the NFL for 19 years, all with the Panthers. He was named assistant GM in June 2015, and previously served as interim GM in 2012 before the team hired Dave Gettleman.
• Don Gregory, director of player personnel, Carolina Panthers: Gregory was named director of player personnel for the Panthers in May 2016 after spending the previous 10 years as the director of college scouting. He’s got 20 years of overall NFL experience. His connection to McDermott can’t be ignored.
• Brett Veach, co-director of player personnel, Kansas City Chiefs: A favorite of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, Veach has a relationship with McDermott dating to their time together in Philadelphia. He is a seven-year NFL veteran who has been in his current job the past two years.
• Eliot Wolf, director of football operations, Green Bay Packers: Wolf, who has interviewed for GM openings in San Francisco and Indianapolis in recent years, is a client of agent Bob LaMonte, just like McDermott. Wolf is the son of former Packers executive Ron Wolf. He could be next in line in Green Bay if Ted Thompson retires.
• Will Lewis, director of pro personnel, Kansas City Chiefs: The director of pro scouting for the Chiefs, Lewis has 17 years of NFL experience, the last four in his current role and 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks. Like Wolf, he’s a client of LaMonte. Lewis oversees the scouting of all players with pro experience and had a brief playing career with the Seahawks in the 1980s.
• Omar Khan, vice president of football and business administration, Pittsburgh Steelers: A 20-year NFL veteran, Khan has spent the past 16 of those in Pittsburgh. His bio with the Steelers describes him as working “with the day-to-day overall management of the football operations department, working closely with President Art Rooney II, General Manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin. He is in charge of overseeing many different areas and functions of the organization.”
• Chris Polian, director of player personnel, Jacksonville Jaguars: The son of former Bills GM and NFL Hall of Famer Bill Polian is a St. Francis High School graduate who previously served as general manager of the Colts. If Bill Polian is still in touch with the Pegulas, it wouldn’t be a stretch if he recommended his son for the job.
• Nick Caserio, director of player personnel, New England Patriots: Caserio has 14 years of experience in player personnel, and has been in his current role since February 2008. During his time in New England, the Patriots have won five Super Bowls. Would he consider leaving for an AFC East team? There would be no harm in the Pegulas finding out.
• Eric DeCosta, assistant general manager, Baltimore Ravens: He’s been rumored for just about every GM opening around the NFL the past few seasons and hasn’t shown any desire to leave. But like with Caserio, it can’t hurt to find out if he’s interested in Buffalo.
• Trent Kirchner, co-director of player personnel, Seattle Seahawks: Like DeCosta, he’s been mentioned several times for GM openings, and interviewed with the Jets. Seahawks General Manager John Schneider has often praised the work that Kirchner, who broke into the NFL in 2000, has done.