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Sabres expect to hire coach early next week: report

Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet, Predators assistant Phil Housley may be considered to fill Buffalo post

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The Buffalo Sabres expect to have a coach hired by early next week, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has resumed the coaching search after attending Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators on Sunday. Prior to being hired by the Sabres on May 11, Botterill was an assistant GM with the Penguins.

Botterill would not say if he intended to interview a coach from one of the teams in the Final. Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet and Predators assistant Phil Housley reportedly have been linked to the Sabres.

Asked about them specifically by the AP, Botterill said, "I have respect for both of the coaches mentioned."

Tocchet has been an assistant with Pittsburgh 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.

Housley has been an assistant with the Nashville the past four seasons. Prior to that, he was the coach of the boys hockey team at Stillwater (Minnesota) High School for nine seasons (2004-13). He also coached the United States to the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Housley began his NHL career with the Sabres, who selected him with the No. 6 pick of the 1982 NHL Draft.

The Sabres fired Dan Bylsma on April 20 and are the only NHL team without a coach after the Florida Panthers hired Bob Boughner on Monday.

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