Buffalo was collectively up in arms on Monday, when Bills GM Doug Whaley told reporters that former head coach Rex Ryan — fired last week after two years on the job — directly reported to owners Terry and Kim Pegula, rather than Whaley.
That caused quite a stir given, y’know, chain of command and all that. It also cast doubt as to how much control Whaley had in Buffalo, if any at all.
So in the aftermath, the Buffalo News decided to ask Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma who he reports to, given the Pegulas also own the Sabres.
“I report to Tim [Murray, Sabres GM] every day, am talking to Tim every day. And Tim talks to Terry and Kim,” Bylsma explained. “There are times when it’s all of us together. I think that’s a little bit more on the football side of it.
“We have communication with Terry and Kim. But I talk to Tim every day and Tim talks to Terry and Kim every day.”
Much like the Bills, the Sabres are under heavy scrutiny right now. Expected to improve on last year’s effort, the club has woefully under performed and heads into tonight’s action sitting dead last in the Atlantic Division, with 34 points.
(The Sabres are on pace for 77 points this year. Last season, they had 81.)
Bylsma has felt the heat, and has drawn constant comparisons to Ryan — both were hired within a month of each other, and both worked under the same ownership group.
Ryan, of course, was dismissed after missing the playoffs in each of his two years on the job. It’s too early to say if Bylsma will be held to the same standard, but his job could be in serious danger if the Sabres don’t show any improvement over the second half.
Updated: Wouldn’t call this a “clarification” per se, but Bylsma did try to further explain the chain of command on WGR 550 today.
“I ultimately report to Kim and Terry. But I report to Tim and I talk to Tim daily, and interact with Tim, and Tim interacts with Kim and Terry. That’s how the daily, day-to-day works with our team.”