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Tipped Off

April 30, 2019, 7:29 PM ET [5 Comments]
NHL news by Garth • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Jason Botterill has been a busy man.

The general manager of the Buffalo Sabres is one of three GMs leading Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia. The World Championships begin May 10 and conclude on May 26.

While Botterill is focusing on his responsibilities with Team Canada, he is continuing his worldwide search for the next head coach of the Sabres.

I told you in this space last week that I expect Botterill to interview Rikard Grönborg while in Bratislava.

Grönborg, 50, is the head coach of the back-to-back gold medal champion Tre Kronor. Grönborg told me last Friday his agent is speaking with the NHL teams that are searching for a head coach. I believe Grönborg and Botterill will have a face to face meeting while in Baratislava for the World Championships.

I also told you in this space on April 16 that veteran NHL Dave Tippett should be given consideration to be Phil Housley's successor behind the Buffalo bench.

Elliotte Friedman, my friend in red wine, Howard Stern and the NHL, writes in his latest "31 Thoughts" blog that Botterill has in fact interviewed Dave Tippett.

Friedman said the Botterill-Tippett meeting "went very well".

In his NHL coaching career, Tippett has coached more than 1,000 NHL games with the Dallas Stars and then Arizona Coyotes.

Tippett coached the Desert Dogs for eight seasons.

Tippett is one of only seven coaches in NHL history to coach his team to successive 50-win seasons, a goal he accomplished while coaching the Dallas Stars. The other six coaches to accomplish this feat are noteworthy:

Mike Babcock (Detroit)
Scotty Bowman (Montreal)
Tom Johnson (Boston)
Mike Keenan (Philadelphia)
Glen Sather (Edmonton)
Fred Shero (Philadelphia)

Tippett is relatively young and still has the passion to coach an NHL team. Be it in Seattle or elsewhere.

Tippett is currently employed by the eexpansion Seattle (insert name here) NHL franchise.

Tippett is widely respected by his peers and is considered to be an intuitive hockey mind, a strict disciplinarian, and and innovator. Tippett will be a good fit with Jack Eichel & Associates.

In his role with the Seattle franchise, Tippett is assisting in overseeing all areas of the franchise and the possibility of him eventually being named coach of the team remains open.

“The challenge of trying to build a team from the foundation up is something not a lot of people get the chance to do,” Tippett told the Seattle Times. “That’s what makes it very intriguing to me.”

Tippett, 57, did not work with an NHL team during the 2017-18 season after spending the previous eight years as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes franchise. Before joining the Coyotes he coached the Dallas Stars for six seasons.

As for Jacques Martin, I'm certain he will be considered only as an associate or assistant coach for the Sabres. Martin, an NHL veteran, could be a valuable collaborator for Rikard Grönborg. I spoke with an NHL source who worked with Botterill. According to my source, Botterill views Martin as an excellent teacher and special teams coach.
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