Report: McLellan, Richardson among ‘initial candidates’ for Sabres gig

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The Buffalo Sabres’ coaching search isn’t expected to ramp up until next week, but the Associated Press reports that Todd McLellan and Luke Richardson are among the “initial candidates” for the gig.

That same report indicates that Mike Babcock would be a likely candidate, as well, if he decides to leave Detroit. (One could probably insert Babcock’s name into any team’s wish list, though, right?)

It sounds like Sabres owner Terry Pegula has some other fish to fry in regards to the NFL Draft, as he’s also the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Once the smoke clears on that, the AP reports that things might really get cooking.

One factor might just be familiarity after Sabres GM Tim Murray cited less-than-ideal comfort with former Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, according to the AP:

In firing Nolan, Murray said he had difficulty establishing a good working relationship with the former coach over the past year. Murray called it a priority to have a comfort level when it comes to hiring his next coach.

Richardson certainly fits that category, while Babcock and Murray have ties that go back to Anaheim in 2002. Babcock coached the Ducks from 2002-04, when Murray served as the team’s player personnel director.

McLellan would be an interesting choice, as he’d go from a weird semi-rebuild in San Jose to a full-fledged one in Buffalo. Just imagine how often he’d make these faces with the Sabres, considering that he was grimacing so often with a fairly successful Sharks squad:

San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks
Getty Images
source: AP
Associated Press
source: AP
Associated Press

That could be kind of fun.