3 coaches the Sabres can replace Don Granato with right now

The Buffalo Sabres handed former head coach Don Granato his walking papers, and now the search begins yet again for a new leader.
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The Don Granato era has ended, and it could mean a flurry of offseason moves as the Buffalo Sabres look to finally return to the playoffs in 2024-25. Fortunately for the Sabres, they have a good core, one that has already been locked in for the decade and that could attract some fine coaching candidates. 

There are many directions general manager Kevyn Adams can go here, which would include looking for some of the game’s best assistant coaches, scouring the AHL for their new leader, or the likeliest option of exploring the free agent pool. We will focus on the latter angle here - the free agent pool of experienced coaches. And one that has grown given the number of firings we saw this season. 

But before mentioning any names, what kind of “experienced coach” should Adams be looking for? Here’s one common denominator: A coach who has enjoyed success at the NHL level, meaning he shouldn’t be interested in anyone who has coached for a few seasons but had barely made it past the first or even the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The Sabres could interview quite a few free agents for the head coaching job

Another common denominator with the three coaches on this list is that not only did the trio make deep playoff runs; they also found themselves in the Stanley Cup Final. If the Blue and Gold were still a rebuilding organization, it would be hard to sell the team to all three of the following names, but since they were at least competitive over the past two years, Adams can bring in someone to excite the fans. 

If he rolls with one of the three names listed in the following slides, you can expect the fan base will be more than interested even early in the offseason. And when they’re about to drop the puck for the home opener in October 2024, expect a packed KeyBank Center. 

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