The Buffalo Sabres are expected to hire a coach before Monday, TSN reported Thursday.
Sabres general manager Jason Botterill told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hoped to name a successor to Dan Bylsma by early next week. Buffalo fired Bylsma and general manager Tim Murray on April 20 and is the only NHL team without a coach after the Florida Panthers hired Bob Boughner on Monday.
Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet and Nashville Predators assistant Phil Housley reportedly have been linked to the Sabres, though TSN reported Thursday that Buffalo has not contacted Tocchet. Botterill was an assistant GM with the Penguins before he was hired by Buffalo on May 11; he attended Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday, when the Penguins defeated the Predators 2-0 to win the Cup for the second consecutive year.
"I have respect for both of the coaches mentioned," Botterill told the AP on Tuesday.
Housley, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was chosen by the Sabres with the No. 6 pick of the 1982 NHL Draft and played the first eight of his 21 NHL seasons with Buffalo. He has been an assistant with the Nashville for the past four seasons. Prior to that, he was the coach of the boys team at Stillwater (Minnesota) High School from 2004-13. He also coached the United States to the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Tocchet has been an assistant with Pittsburgh for the past three seasons. He coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for parts of two seasons (2008-10), going 53-69-26 in 148 games. He previously was an assistant with the Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche.
Buffalo reportedly has interviewed other candidates, including former Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube and Boughner before he was hired by the Panthers.