On November 13, the Buffalo Sabres organization shocked the hockey world when they announced the firing of long-time general manager Darcy Regier and the simultaneous axing of not-so-long-lasting head coach Ron Rolston. Replacing the cancelled-out coach was former Sabre fan-favourite Ted Nolan, who returned to the organization after a 17-year absence. Regier’s GM role was not immediately filled. Instead, the Sabres hired former great Pat Lafontaine as Director of Hockey Operations, tasked with hiring a new general manager to become part of a prosperous future in Buffalo.
As for who will become the Buffalo Sabres GM, speculation concerning potential candidates consists of a long list containing current NHL assistant general managers from around the league. According to Hockey Night in Canada analyst Glen Healy, the list includes Rick Dudley (Montreal Canadiens), Paul Fenton (Nashville Predators), Jason Botterill (Pittsburgh Penguins), and Jim Benning, currently serving as assistant GM to Peter Chiarelli with the Boston Bruins organization.
Before his time in Bean-Town, Benning served as a scout with the Buffalo Sabres from 1994 to 2004. He spent the second part of his tenure with the franchise as Director of Amateur Scouting. So, he’s familiar with the organization, including a period of co-existence with Ted Nolan part 1 during Pat Lafontaine’s playing days.
Jim Benning has been given permission to talk to the Sabres about the vacant GM job.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) November 19, 2013
UPDATE: As Healy mentioned, assistant GM with the Predators, Paul Fenton, is also a candidate. John Vogl of Buffalo News confirms:
The Sabres are considering Nashville Asst. GM Paul Fenton in search for GM, sources say. He's been interested. http://t.co/CvRDv8I1tO
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) November 20, 2013
The Sabres have not at this time announced an official replacement for Regier. Stay tuned….