Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

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On Thursday GM Jim Rutherford opened the door for teams to interview former Pens’ head coach Dan Bylsma without seeking permission.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Bylsma will meet with the Buffalo Sabres this week.

Bylsma, 44, has not coached since being fired by Pittsburgh last June.

The 2011 Jack Adams Award winner was behind the Penguins’ bench for six seasons posting a 252-117-32 record winning a Stanley Cup in 2009.

As Friedman notes, Bylsma could appeal to the Sabres because he already has a connection with Jack Eichel, who is likely headed to Buffalo. The two were together with Team USA at the 2015 World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Rutherford has given Buffalo and San Jose to speak with Bylsma.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports New Jersey GM Ray Shero has also gotten permission to speak with Bylsma and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes about the Devils coaching vacancy.

Rutherford has not gotten to the point of seeking compensation.

“We haven’t gotten to that point,” said Rutherford. “That [right to seek compensation] rule kind of works against itself. On one hand, you’re paying an employee who’s not working, so teams prefer to get their salaries moved on [to another club]. But at the same time, we have a rule that, in some cases, there could be compensation.”

The Pens did not get compensation when the Devils hired Shero and Rutherford admitted they may go the same route with Bylsma in an effort to get a deal done.

“We don’t want to jeopardize what [Shero and Bylsma] could do going forward,” Rutherford said. “We’ll just wait to see who Dan possibly could get hired by, and make that decision at the time.”

The Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan on April 12 after he led Buffalo to a 40-87-17 record in parts of two seasons. Nolan has since interviewed with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League regarding their coaching vacancy.