Buffalo Sabres Making Major Change: Lafontaine In
The Buffalo Sabres have had a very disappointing start to the season with a 4-15-1 record and sitting in last place in the entire NHL. Given such a start, and the fact that the team was also disappointing last year, change was inevitable, and today the ax dropped.
Reports from the Buffalo News indicate that The Sabres have called a press conference this morning where they will announce that GM Darcy Regier and Head Coach Ron Rolston have been relieved from their duties.
Regier has been the Sabres general manager since 1997. He led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998-99 where they lost to the Dallas Stars, as well as to the 2006-07 President’s Trophy, and back-to-back Eastern Conference finals. In recent years the Sabres have struggled and Regier has started a rebuild acquiring 14 picks in the first three rounds of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 NHL drafts. However, the lack of success on the ice means he won’t be able to see the rebuild through.
Rolston was hired as the Sabres interim head coach last season after the firing of long-time Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. He was named full-time head coach this past summer. The long-time college and USA Hockey coach had just nine regulation wins in 47 games as Sabres coach.
Former Sabres star Pat Lafontaine will take over as President of Hockey Operations. Lafontaine recently worked with the New York Islanders as a consultant, before leaving after a dispute with management.
It is also rumored that former Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, will replace Rolston behind the bench.
Lafontaine is a Hockey Hall of Famer who played for the Sabres from 1991 to 1997, and his number 16 is retired in Buffalo. He also played for the New York Islanders and New York Rangers before his career was cut short by concussions. Overall he scored 468 goals and 1,013 points in 865 career games.
Ted Nolan is currently coaching the Latvian National Team in preparation for the Olympics. Given this new position, it is currently unclear if he will still be the Head Coach for Latvia in Sochi. He was the Sabres head coach in 1995-96, and 1996-97 winning the Jack Adams as NHL coach of the year in his second season. However he was let go as Sabres head coach following that Jack Adams season due to his strained relationship with Darcy Regier and star goaltender Dominic Hasek. He would go on to coach the New York Islanders. He is 147-140-19 (ties) – 21 (OTL) in his NHL coaching career.
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