By Mike Harrington
Rick Dudley is having too much fun with the Montreal Canadiens.
You can go through the all the complicated scenarios you want, but that's the bottom line to why the former Sabres player and coach has opted to stay as the assistant general manager with the Habs and not become a candidate for Buffalo's open GM job.
The Sabres asked for permission to talk to Dudley earlier this week, Dudley told reporters tonight in a meeting in the First Niagara Center press box. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin told Dudley he would give the permission, but wanted a chance to talk to Dudley as well. As it turned out, Dudley never talked to the Sabres. TSN reported the Habs gave him a lucrative contract extension, although Dudley wouldn't comment on those details other than to admit he got years added on to his deal.
"I went to Montreal because of Marc Bergevin," Dudley said. "I enjoy the people I work with. it's fun. It's a great gig. if you enjoy something a great deal, why change if you don't have to?
"I'm having a ball in Montreal and I want to stay there. It's been fun from day one. We've got a wonderful group of players, coaches, the entire staff. It was a situation I didn't think I could walk away from."
What does Dudley think about Pat LaFontaine's new role as president of hockey operations and the Sabres' situation in general? He said he see lots of good young pieces, that current assistant GM Kevin Devine has done a solid job in the draft and that he has complete faith in whatever decision LaFontaine makes.
"It's going to take some people around him that have been there before but Patty is a very bright kid," Dudley said. "Always was. Obviously he's a charismatic guy and people are going to love him but I think he's a smart enough guy that he can figure it out. What he doesn't know now, he will learn in a hurry.
"The problem with the NHL now with the cap and the way it is is that you can't make mistakes. So from here on, they've just got to avoid mistakes. They're a team with a number of assets and the pieces they put in place here have to be the rights ones. Same as anybody else."
Dudley has been a GM in Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta and joked that he could snap a tie with friend Brian Burke for the most GM stops in NHL history. But that's not going to happen.
"My wife knows me better than anybody," Dudley said. "She says, 'you smile now.' There are times she's seen me where I didn't so why change? I appreciate the Buffalo Sabres and everything they've done for me and the city of Buffalo. But I enjoy working with Montreal."
Click below to hear Dudley's session with the media.
taggedex-Sabres | Montreal Canadiens | Sabres front office