The Buffalo Sabres were expected to be bad this season, but no one could have expected a 1-6-1 start to the year. Because of the more than inauspicious start to the season, many are questioning just how much longer the team will go before a change is made.
If a report from Sportsnet in Canada is to be believed, a change could be brewing sooner than expected for the team just south of the Canadian/U.S. Border. According to Nick Kypreos, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier is once again on the hot seat, and it's much hotter than in the past.
The network's NHL insider said that the team would ideally like to wait until Christmas to make a decision on Regier's future, but that a decision could come much sooner due to the team's start.
Kypreos stated that the two names he's hearing right now as potential replacements for the longtime Sabres GM are Jason Botterill and Tom Fitzgerald of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Botterill, who played for the Sabres from 2002 to 2004 during Regier's tenure, is the Assistant GM in Pittsburgh. Fitzgerald is also a member of the Penguins' front office.
The reason for the interest of the two in Pittsburgh is due to the team's connection to the franchise. Current team president Ted Black and senior advisor Ken Sawyer both worked for the Penguins before coming over to the Sabres after Terry Pegula purchased the team in February 2011.
Another name that floated by the Sportsnet insiders was Rick Dudley who currently serves as an assistant GM in Montreal. Dudley was the head coach in Buffalo for a little over two seasons from 1989-1992.
Buffalo, which won its first game of the season on Tuesday against the New York Islanders in the form of a 4-3 shootout win, has seen immense criticism from the local media and fans for its play thus far.
With major decisions about impending unrestricted free agents Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott looming, it may not be a bad idea to make a decision soon in order for the new GM to get adjusted before the trade deadline comes around, which is where the final decision will likely be made as to what the team does with those players.