A quick Memorial Day rundown…
The Sabres will reportedly meet with ex-Penguins coach Dan Bylsma this week. Bylsma, who’s been courted by a number of teams already (more on that below), most recently served as Todd Richards’ assistant with Team USA at the World Championships, where he coached likely-to-be Sabres center Jack Eichel — hence the rumblings that Bylsma’s now one of the leading candidates for the Sabres gig, if not the leader.
Luke Richardson, the former NHL defenseman that’s been coaching Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, has also been linked to the Buffalo job. Richardson has strong ties to Sabres GM Tim Murray from their time together with the Sens, though there’s been no reports yet of Buffalo asking permission to interview Richardson, whose season with Bingo ended last month.
The Sharks have conducted a remarkably thorough search thus far, having already interviewed (or gained permission to interview) the likes of Bylsma, Adam Oates, Peter DeBoer and Randy Carlyle.
Dave Lowry has also emerged as a darkhorse candidate. The longtime NHLer — who spent three seasons in San Jose — has emerged as one of the best junior hockey coaches on the circuit with WHL Victoria, and has been chosen to coach Canada at next year’s WJC. Lowry also has three years of NHL assistant coaching experience with Calgary, from 2009-12.
The latest and most interesting development from the Devils came over the weekend, when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that new GM Ray Shero — previously of the Penguins — was getting the band back together, sorta, by getting permission to speak with Bylsma and AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes.
The connection between Shero and Bylsma is well-documented, and Shero’s ties to Hynes run deep as well. Shero was the one that brought Hynes into the organization, hiring him out of the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2009.
The Devils have also reportedly been in contact with former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who was rumored to be very close to accepting the Toronto job before Mike Babcock agreed to join the Leafs late in the process.
• Technically, the Detroit Red Wings have a job opening, though it’s widely expected that AHL Grand Rapids bench boss Jeff Blashill will get it once his team is finished the Calder Cup playoffs.
• Teams could be waiting to speak with three assistant coaches currently still in Stanley Cup contention: Trent Yawney, Bruce Boudreau’s right-hand man in Anaheim; Kevin Dineen, the ex-Florida bench boss currently serving as Joel Quenneville’s assistant in Chicago; Scott Arniel, the former Columbus head coach working with Alain Vigneault in New York.
• In the wake of North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol getting hired in Philly, interesting to note that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently floated the name of Boston University’s Dave Quinn for the San Jose job.