The Buffalo purge and other hockey notes

The NHL had its own version of “The Purge” yesterday when owners Terry and Kim Pegula fired…well almost everyone. They started at the top with the release of General Manager Jason Botterill and went as far down as letting go of half their scouting staff. It was a day where almost no one was safe in Sabres-Town and HR specialists went home exhausted.

Buffalo Sabres front office purge

  • Jason Botterill, GM
  • Randy Sexton, Asst GM
  • Steve Greeley, Asst GM
  • Chris Taylor, Head Coach Rochester Americans (AHL)
  • Toby Peterson, Asst Coach (AHL)
  • Gord Dineen, Asst Coach (AHL)
  • Ryan Jankowski, Director of Scouting
  • 12 of 21 Scouts

Most of these moves are being perceived as a cost cutting measure since Terry Pegula stated the organization is looking to get “leaner.” Of course, a lot has to do with not winning as it almost always does.

Canada coronavirus NHL guidelines

We finally may have some headway with the Canadian government as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would be “ok with it.” The issues with selecting a Canadian hub surrounds the strict quarantine guidelines coming into country. Now the Canadian PM will allow the local governments to work with the NHL on it directly.

The three Canadian cities up for the second NHL hub is Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. Right now Toronto is the front-runner for a multitude of reasons but being that it is an Eastern Conference city makes it more appealing to the league. As I noted recently about Vegas, the NHL wants no semblance of home ice advantage and with the Oilers in the playoffs that will likely rule out Edmonton.

AHL’s ‘Return to Play Task Force

The AHL has put together its own Return to Play Task Force to devise plans for getting back on the ice next season. The task force consists of one NHL owner, five NHL General Managers, one AHL owner, and five AHL team executives. You can read more about the task force and the hurdles they need to overcome at Forever Blueshirts.