NHL Rumors: The Most Desirable Vacant Coaching Location Is ….

Sportsnet 590 The FAN: Jeff Marek and Matt Marchese on the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators and which team may have the most desirable coaching vacancy.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marchese: “There’s three jobs that I look at and say are oddly similar.”

Marek: “Okay.”

Marchese: “I think that Buffalo, I think that Ottawa and I think that New Jersey are very similar jobs in terms of where they are in their development, the players that they have on the roster, in terms of star power, the fact that none of them can play defence, and none of them can goaltend at this point.

What is the most intriguing job of those three? Because I know you and I off the air kind of mentioned St. Louis. But to me, St. Louis is in a different part of their development because they haven’t blown it up like the other two teams already, or other three teams already have.”

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Marek: “Yeah.”

Marchese: “And there’s, there is an influx of young talent that’s coming, but it’s further away than what’s already present in Buffalo, New Jersey, and Ottawa.”

Marek: “Okay, so, of those three, you mentioned New Jersey, Ottawa and Buffalo. Of those three, two have the same issue. Ottawa and New Jersey have the same issue and that is goaltending.

So, I think if you’re Steve Staois, that’s prime concern, obviously, and if you’re Tom Fitzgerald, not exactly a secret he was looking for a goaltender and we all knew that is.”

Marchese: “Feels like for two years he’d been looking for goaltender.”

Marek: “Well, and his name rhymes with Jacob Markstrom.”

Marchese: “Smacob Parkstrom? Is he a new guy? I don’t know him.”

Marek: “So those two teams have, have, and the reason I bring that up, there are a lot of coaches that when they look at jobs, when they look at new positions, the first thing they consider is, whose my goaltender?”

Marchese: “Yep. They don’t know.”

Marek: “Because the coaching position is most closely aligned with the goaltender.”

Marchese: “Correct.”

Marek: “So I look at Ottawa, i look at New Jersey and say that they have, they have a similar issue here that they need to fix the goaltending.”

Buffalo Sabres, I see one of the main issues here is it’s not goaltending.”

Marchese: “Structure.”

Marek: “Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is great. Devin Levi is going to be great. They’re going to be fine. I don’t know what the dynamic of going with those two as your 1A, 1B next season, but I think that that’s what they’re gonna go with. But I don’t worry about the goaltending with the Buffalo Sabres. I do with Ottawa. I do with the New Jersey Devils.

But the Buffalo Sabres I worry about, like they’re gonna have a pendulum effect here with the next coaching hire. It’s going to be someone who’s tougher. It’s going to be someone who’s more firm. We know that.

But also I think with the Buffalo Sabres is, if a lot of kids, the a big question is what’s your veteran next? And I think the Buffalo Sabres is going to look at bringing in veterans there aren’t shy about pushing back and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what, this sucks. This is wrong. You shouldn’t be doing this. No, no, no, no, no, this is the way we need to do things.’

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I think that they’ll look to bring in more players like that as they look to change their veteran, right? Like Kyle Okposo is not there anymore, right? He’s gone, Florida. I think the one of the big things is which veterans are they going to bring in and how is this team going to be made accountable by whichever coach comes in?

Which one is more intriguing? I think New Jersey is closer to being a playoff team than the other two. I mean, they were last year and they won a series, beat the Rangers.”