Buffalo fires Bylsma, general manager, too
General manager Tim Murray ran out of time to rebuild the Buffalo Sabres into a contender. The team will need a new head coach, too.
Sabres owner Terry Pegula cleaned house by firing Murray and coach Dan Bylsma Thursday amid questions over player accountability in a season in which Buffalo extended its franchise-worst playoff drought to a sixth year. Pegula reached the decision after spending the past two days holding season-ending meetings with Murray, and some 10 days after Buffalo closed its season by finishing last in the Atlantic Division.
“We want to thank Tim and Dan for their hard work and efforts that they have put in during their tenures with the club,” Pegula said in a statement released by the team. “We wish them luck. We have begun the process to fill these positions immediately.”
Murray completed his third full season as GM, and was responsible for overseeing a top-to-bottom overhaul that began under his predecessor Darcy Regier, who was fired in November 2012. Bylsma completed his second season. Both had three years left on their respective contracts.
New Jersey signed Russian defenseman Yaroslav Dyblenko to a two-year, entry-level contract. Dyblenko, 23, spent the past five seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He played the past two seasons with Moscow Spartak.
Toronto forward Auston Matthews, Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski and Winnipeg winger Patrik Laine are the finalists for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. The league announced the top three in voting Thursday night. Matthews is the front-runner after amassing 40 goals and 69 points. ... NHL linesman Don Henderson has filed a lawsuit against Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman and the team, a Calgary court confirmed with ESPN.com. The statement of claim for damages was filed April 18 and is seeking damages of $10.25 million. Henderson was injured during a January 2016 Flames game against Nashville when he was hit from behind by Wideman. Henderson hasn not returned to work since.