The new general manager and coach are in place. It sounds as if a new staff of assistants is coming, too.
The Sabres are not planning to bring back Terry Murray, Bob Woods and Tom Ward, a source tells The Buffalo News. It’s not a surprise that Phil Housley will want his own people beside him as he starts his head coaching career.
GM Jason Botterill said last week that Buffalo's assistants had been given permission to seek new jobs while waiting for Housley to meet with them. The Sabres said Tuesday the process was ongoing.
Murray, the uncle of former Buffalo General Manager Tim Murray, joined the Sabres when Dan Bylsma became coach in 2015-16. The 66-year-old has been coaching since 1982, including the top job in Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Woods and Ward spent one season with the Sabres.
Woods was a longtime assistant for Bruce Boudreau. He is credited with running Buffalo’s top-ranked power play. The Sabres finished first in the NHL this season at 24.5 percent.
Ward made the jump to the NHL after turning Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a prep school in Minnesota, into a national powerhouse.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the Sabres will retain goalie coach Andrew Allen. He has spent two seasons in Buffalo and is well-regarded by Buffalo's goalies.
Former New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano has reportedly been contacted to join Housley’s staff.
“It’s going to be very important that we surround Phil with a staff that he feels comfortable and they can rely on each other,” Botterill said after hiring Housley. “The head guy has to be the leader of your group, but over the course of 82 games you have to have strong assistant coaches who are empowered. We just have to make sure there’s a good fit.”