Four Coaches To Replace Phil Housley

Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Expanding Pegulaville Hockey_1554663624223

FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2011 file photo, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula speaks during a news conference announcing the new ownership of the NHL hockey team in Buffalo, N.Y. Going beyond hockey, the Pennsylvania billionaire has turned his attention to contributing to Buffalo’s downtown redevelopment plans in preparing to build a $123 million […]

With the firing of Phil Housley on Sunday, less than 24 hours after their win over the Detroit Red Wings in the season finale, Sabres’ owners Terry and Kim Pegula will be in the hunt for their fifth head coach since purchasing the franchise in 2011.

Here a few candidates that could find their way to the Blue & Gold.

Chris Taylor

Team: Rochester Americans

Record: 81-55-10 (AHL)

Stanley Cup wins: 0

When he took over as general manager, one of the most important things Jason Botterill wanted to accomplish was turning the minor league affiliate into a winner, much like he did during his time in Pittsburg with the Wilkes-Barre Penguins.

In his two years at the helm Taylor has done just that amassing a 81-55-10 record over that span with two trips to the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The only question is whether the Pegulas would be willing to turn their franchise back over to a first-time head coach in the NHL after a sub-par two years with first year head coach Phil Housley.

Joel Quenneville

Team: St. Louis, Colorado, Chicago

Record: 890-532-77-137

Stanley Cups wins: 2010, 2013, 2015

Quenneville had success since first stepping behind the bench with St. Louis in 1996 through his final 15 games with Chicago before he was fired.

While in the Windy City he helped mold and develop stars Jonathan Toews and South Buffalo’s Patrick Kane. He also won three Stanley Cups and only missed the postseason three times in his career.

However, it appears as though Florida has the fast track to landing the three-time cup winner.

Alain Vigneault

Team: Vancouver, Montreal, New York (Rangers)

Record: 648-435-35-98

Stanley Cup wins: 0

Vigneault spent the last year out of the NHL after getting fired by the New York Rangers after missing the postseason. In total, he’s only missed the playoffs three times as a bench boss, excluding his firing in Montreal 20 games in to the 2000-2001 season.

The 57-year-old advanced twice to the Stanley Cup Final in his career.  He made his first appearance as a coach with Vancouver during the 2010-2011 season and again with the New York Rangers for the 2013-2014 campaign.

Adding some intrigue — Vigneault is reportedly set to be the head coach of Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.  Botterill is part of the management group that is expected to piece together Canada’s coaching staff.

Jacques Martin

Team: St. Louis, Ottawa, Florida, Montreal

Record: 613-481-119-81
Stanley Cup wins: 0

For the past seven years Martin has been an assistant in the Penguins’ front office and it’s hard to ignore the relationship he and Jason Botterill could have in terms of making a connection as to who could lead the Sabres for the 2019-2020 campaign.

The 66-year-old has missed the playoffs four times in his 17-year coaching career, which does not include his firing during the 2011-2012 season with the Canadiens.

While he’s been to the postseason 12 times, he’s made it to the conference finals only twice and has never advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.

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