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Hockey duties to be shared while Pegula searches for Sabres' next leaders

Terry Pegula has no timetable to hire new hockey leaders. It could be after six interviews. It could be more or less.

In the meantime, the Sabres owner is confident he has people who can guide the team.

Assistant General Manager Mark Jakubowski, who handles contracts and the salary cap, remains in the organization. Pegula said others are available to help after Thursday’s firing of GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma and scouting executives Rob Murphy and Greg Royce.

“We’ve got a lot of people in the organization that are pretty capable,” Pegula said Friday.

There is no immediate need for replacements, but the organization can’t dawdle, either. Scouting departments typically meet in May to prepare for the NHL Draft (June 23-24 in Chicago) and the NHL Combine, which will be held May 28 through June 3 in Buffalo.

Jeff Crisp, the Sabres’ head amateur scout, will handle the duties formerly belonging to Royce, who was the director of amateur scouting. Murphy was the director of scouting, but the Sabres still have an assistant director of scouting (Jerry Forton), director of European scouting (Anders Forsberg), director of player personnel (Kevin Devine) and pro scouting coordinator (Graham Beamish).

“The pro side will be several people in the organization involved in decisions until that person comes in,” Pegula said in KeyBank Center.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula: 'We have to get better'

The owner said his interviews will determine whether the Sabres add a hockey president or stick with just a GM.

“Without disclosing specifics on this search, we are going to find the best candidate – candidates – that we will bring into our organization to achieve our goals,” Pegula said. “The structure will land depending on the first person that we bring in, what his attitude is and how we should work together.

“Experience is going to be key in our search. Without disclosing specific details about what our plan is – our plan may change as we start talking to people – but the plan is to build a stronger organization from top to bottom.”

Pegula said he has yet to interview anyone.

“We’re going to move as quickly and efficiently as we can,” he said. “Sometimes you talk to half a dozen or so people, and you need to talk to more people. It’s all a function of how our meetings go.”

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