One-time Sabres head coach Rick Dudley, who has been heavily linked to the NHL team’s vacant general manager’s job, will not follow Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan in returning to Buffalo this season.

Instead, the Montreal Canadiens have agreed to a contract extension with their assistant general manager, according to reports.

Dudley, 64, coached the Sabres for two-plus seasons beginning in 1989. He also played for the club from 1972 to 1981.

Considered one of the best pure talent scouts in the game, Dudley exercised the “out” in his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs to join the Canadiens in May 2012 as an assistant to GM Marc Bergevin.

The Toronto native joined the Maple Leafs management team in 2011 after being let go after three seasons as GM of the Atlanta Thrashers when the team moved to Winnipeg.

Dudley has also been a GM in Chicago, Florida and Tampa Bay, where he played a significant role in building the 2004 edition of the Lightning that won the Stanley Cup.

Prior to joining an NHL front office, Dudley spent four successful seasons in the International Hockey League, guiding the Detroit Vipers to the Turner Cup in 1997. In all, he has been to eight championship finals in three leagues: IHL, AHL and East Coast Hockey League.

Dudley's NHL playing career spanned seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets and Sabres. He was also one of only three players in the league to wear No. 99.