Where there's smoke, there's usually fire and Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet indicates that the kindling is being put in place for Buffalo Sabres manager Darcy Regier.
Kypreos indicated that Regier could be fired in the near future due to the team's start to the 2013-14 season, which saw Buffalo register an 0-6-1 record before Tuesday night's shootout win against the New York Islanders. Speculation about Regier's job security surfaced last season and many thought the longtime manager would find himself without a job along with former coach Lindy Ruff, who the Sabres decided to let go 17 games into the 2013 campaign.
Ultimately, the team decided to retain Regier, but that might not be the case for much longer if Kypreos is correct.
Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Jason Botterill and Tom Fitzgerald, the assistant to Penguins manager Ray Shero, were both mentioned as early favorites to replace Regier in the event of a change. The connection with Pittsburgh comes from Sabres president Ted Black and senior advisor Ken Sawyer, both of whom previously worked with the Penguins.
Scott Morrison also mentioned during the Sportsnet report that Montreal Canadiens assistant general manager Rick Dudley is a potential candidate should the job become available. Dudley has served in several management positions with teams including the Atlanta Thrasthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lighting.
While it remains unclear what kind of timetable the Sabres are working under, it's clear the fans are ready for a change now. During the Sabres 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Thursday, the crowd began a chant of "Fire Darcy."
Sounds as though they might get their wish.
(h/t Die By The Blade)