Skip to content

Who will LaFontaine hire as Buffalo’s next GM?

Nov 13, 2013, 3:04 PM EST

Rick Dudley Getty Images

During his introductory presser as Buffalo’s new president of hockey operations, Pat LaFontaine said he has a shortlist of candidates for the club’s vacant GM gig.

So, who might be on the list?

Names have been bandied about and there’s no early word on who might be the leading candidate. To streamline things, we’ve compiled a list of who we think might be on that list.

Rick Dudley

Hiring Dudley would fit the theme of bringing ex-Sabres back into the fold. Dudley coached in Buffalo from 1989-92 and has extensive GM experience, having served in that role for Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta.

He’s currently working as Marc Bergevin’s assistant in Montreal.

Mike Peca

Another guy with serious ties to the Buffalo organization, the former captain is currently the head coach and GM of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, an Ontario Junior A team owned by the NHL club.

Peca, along with Dudley, was pegged as a potential candidate for the vacant GM gig by ex-Sabre goalie and current TSN analyst Martin Biron.

Neil Smith

The architect of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup winning-team, Smith has a relationship with LaFontaine from their (brief) time together on Long Island. Smith was given the Isles GM gig in June 2006, only to be fired months later by owner Charles Wang.

LaFontaine, who had been hired as a senior adviser, quit his position in reaction to the Smith firing.

Mark Seidel, former assistant GM with OHL Erie and scout with the Minnesota Wild, said he “keeps hearing” Smith’s name come up regarding the Sabres’ gig.

Paul Fenton

David Poile’s right-hand man in Nashville has long been considered the next quality GM in waiting. The Poile managerial tree has already produced current Pens GM Ray Shero — winner of the 2013 NHL General Manger of the Year Award — and Fenton is largely credited with leading Nashville’s drafts from 2003-08, during which time they selected Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, Kevin Klein and Patric Hornqvist.

Jason Botterill

Botterill currently serves as Shero’s assistant in Pittsburgh and — surprise! — has ties to the Sabres organization, having played there from 2002-04. He’s known as the Pens’ cap specialist and has been instrumental in designing deals to keep a number of Pittsburgh’s high-priced players in place.

Others

— Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager (Shero) in Pittsburgh.

— Julien BriseBois, Steve Yzerman’s assistant in Tampa Bay.

— Joe Will, Doug Wilson’s assistant in San Jose.

— Matthew Barnaby. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

Latest Posts
  1. Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy

    Mar 2, 2015, 5:59 PM EST

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Getty Images

    “We were looking to upgrade, add more of a veteran presence.”

  2. Chiarelli: Bruins ‘cap crunch’ made it ‘tough’ to get trades done

    Mar 2, 2015, 5:49 PM EST

    Peter Chiarelli

    “It’s just hard to get a deal done, and you see the prices are so high.”

  3. Rangers sign Zuccarello to a four-year, $18 million extension

    Mar 2, 2015, 5:10 PM EST

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    He gets a no-trade clause in the first year of the deal.

  4. Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’

    Mar 2, 2015, 5:09 PM EST

    Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    “Devastating” news for the Calgary Flames.

  5. Flyers sign Bellemare to a two-year, $1.425 million extension

    Mar 2, 2015, 4:47 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

    He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season.

  6. PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

    Mar 2, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Buffalo Sabres v New York Rangers Getty Images

    All the latest leading up to 3 p.m. ET…

  7. Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:57 PM EST

    James Wisniewski Getty Images

    They were “adamant” about bolstering their blue line.

  8. Columbus signs Atkinson to three-year, $10.5M extension

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:06 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets' Ryan Murray, right, is congratulated by teammate Cam Atkinson after Murray scored a goal against the New York Islanders in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) AP

    Speedy winger was rumored to be a trade deadline target.

  9. Leafs flip Jokinen to Blues

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:43 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Has only been to the playoffs once in his career.

  10. Wild add defensive depth, get Leopold from Columbus

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:23 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    It’s the veteran’s third team this season.

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (2723)
  2. K. Okposo (2695)
  3. N. Horton (2586)
  4. T. Hall (2419)
  5. R. Miller (2343)