As the Buffalo Sabres’ search for a new head coach continues, the list of potential candidates just got a little bit shorter. Rikard Grönborg, who was touted by many as the next bench boss, has been named head coach of the ZSC Lions.
Rikard #Grönborg ist neuer Headcoach der ZSC Lions— ZSC Lions (@zsclions) May 9, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/jcNA79jphY pic.twitter.com/nGDpzVeQfs
Grönborg will head to Switzerland next season, leaving the Sabres’ list a little bit shorter in their search to find a replacement for Phil Housley. Housley was fired on April 7, just over a month ago.
Since then, the Sabres have been reportedly linked to several candidates, including the 50-year-old Grönborg; Todd McLellan; Dave Tippett; Jacques Martin and Todd Richards. The latest reports indicate that Tippett has interviewed with the Sabres.
Up until today, there was also speculation that Sabres GM Jason Botterill would speak with Grönborg at the upcoming World Championships, for which he’ll be behind the bench with Sweden. Botterill is at Worlds with Team Canada. Obviously, now, that chat won’t be necessary.
The Sabres never interviewed Rikard Grönborg, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) May 9, 2019
Sheldon Keefe, current head coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, has also been mentioned as a possible head coach for the Sabres. At this point, however, the Marlies are in the midst of a Calder Cup run, so if Keefe were to speak with the Sabres, nothing would likely come of it until after the season’s end.
There’s a month and change until the 2019 NHL Draft, and a few more weeks until free agency opens in July. It’s certainly possible that the Sabres have a head coach in place prior to either or both of those events; but at this point, it’s also possible that the spot remains open for a little bit longer.
With Grönborg out of the picture, who is your ideal candidate for the Sabres’ head coaching gig?