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Sharpen Up: April 24, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Lots of news to catch up on from last week.

Here's what you need to know.

On Thursday, owners Terry and Kim Pegula relieved general manager Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma of their duties. On Friday, Terry Pegula addressed the media to explain the decision. 


Pegula concluded his opening remarks by listing three characteristics that will stand at the forefront as the organization searches for a new coach and general manager: discipline, structure and communication.

Those were the qualities that Terry and Kim Pegula decided were lacking in the organization following season-ending discussions with Murray, Bylsma and Sabres players, which ultimately led to their decision on Thursday.

 "That's how you win," Pegula said. "All of that stuff goes together with character. You've got to have character throughout the organization, on the ice and they have to be in a disciplined, structured environment where everybody knows what everybody's doing and everybody's talking, and that's how you win."

Will there be a president of hockey operations overseeing the entire department? Will it just be a general manager in charge? All of that is being evaluated by the Pegulas and the interview process will help them make those decisions as well.

"Without disclosing specifics on this search, we are going to find the best candidates that we will bring into our organization to achieve our goals," he said on Friday. "The structure will land depending on the first person that we bring in, what his attitude is and how we should work together."

The Draft Lottery is this weekend

On Saturday, the NHL will hold the Draft Lottery to determine the first 15 picks of the 2017 NHL Draft, which will be held on June 23 and 24 in Chicago.

The lottery will be televised shortly after 8 p.m. on NBC, CBC, and TVA. 

The 2017 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

The Vegas Golden Knights are in the mix this year as well. They've been assigned same lottery odds as the team finishing the regular season in 28th place.

The allocation of odds for the 1st Lottery Draw of the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery is as follows:

Colorado Avalanche 18.0%
Vancouver Canucks 12.1%
Vegas Golden Knights * 10.3%
Arizona Coyotes 10.3%
New Jersey Devils 8.5%
Buffalo Sabres 7.6%
Detroit Red Wings 6.7%
Dallas Stars 5.8%
Florida Panthers 5.4%
Los Angeles Kings 4.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.2%
Winnipeg Jets 2.7%
Philadelphia Flyers 2.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
New York Islanders 0.9%

Last week, we took a quick look at Nolan Patrick, Central Scouting's No. 1-ranked North American-based skater. 

Eichel and O'Reilly going to Worlds

The IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France kicks off on May 5, and Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly will be there. Eichel was added to Team USA on Wednesday and O'Reilly was among the first 18 players named to Canada's roster.

Goaltending prospect Cal Petersen will also be playing for Team USA.

Zemgus Girgensons has expressed interest in playing for Latvia. Their roster has not yet been formally announced. 

Frozen Four coming back to Buffalo

The NCAA announced last week that the City of Buffalo and KeyBank Center will host the 2019 Men's Frozen Four and the 2022 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball First and Second Round. 

The 2019 Frozen Four will mark the second time Buffalo has served as the host city for the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship. Buffalo last hosted the Frozen Four in 2003. The Frozen Four features three games; two national semifinal games on Thursday, and the national championship game two days later. The Frozen Four has been played in New York State 10 times since the event started in 1948.

On tap

We'll have Kris Baker's Sabres Prospects Report for you later today. Also stay tuned later this week for full Draft Lottery coverage. And if there's any news when it comes to the hiring search, stick with us as well. 

Sharpen Up will be back with another edition next Monday. 

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