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Canadiens sign assistant GM Dudley to extension

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO - Rick Dudley removed himself from contention for the job as general manager of the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday by signing a contract extension to remain as assistant GM of the Montreal Canadiens.

"I went to Montreal because of [general manager] Marc Bergevin," said Dudley, who spent most of his NHL playing career with the Sabres and has held his current position since May 2012. "I enjoy working with Marc and Larry [Carriere] and Scott [Mellanby] and people I work with. It's fun, it's a great gig. If you enjoy something a great deal, why change if you don't have to?"

The extension was prompted by a call from Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine to Bergevin seeking permission to interview Dudley.

"A couple days ago. [Bergevin] told me that," Dudley said when asked if he knew the Sabres had asked permission to talk to him. "He told me he would allow me to talk to them, but he said, 'I'd like to talk to you also about something else.' That's what happened and it worked out for all of us."

Dudley said his connection to the Sabres wasn't strong enough to make him consider leaving Montreal.

"I appreciate all the pundits bringing my name up in Toronto, and some of them were people I worked with in the League like Bill Watters and Doug MacLean and people like that," Dudley said. "I really appreciate them suggesting I would be a good choice."

The Sabres have been searching for a new general manager since Darcy Regier was fired on Nov. 13.

"They've got some good pieces," Dudley said. "I'll mention [Sabres assistant general manager] Kevin Devine, I think he's done a nice job here. I think there are some very good, young pieces in the cupboard. The problem with the NHL now is with the cap and the way it is, you can't make mistakes. So from here on, they've just got to avoid mistakes. They're a team with a number of assets and the pieces they put in place here have to be the right ones, same as anybody."

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