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Report: Nolan, Sabres closing in on three-year extension

Mar 17, 2014, 6:22 PM EDT

tednolan2ap AP

Buffalo and head coach Ted Nolan are closing in on a three-year extension, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports.

Nolan, 55, was hired in mid-November to replace the beleaguered Ron Rolston, who was fired after a 4-15-1 start to the campaign. It was a big move in Buffalo as it reunited the club with one of its most successful head coaches in recent memory — Nolan coached the Sabres from 1995-97, winning the Jack Adams in ’97 on the strength of a 40-win campaign.

Nolan was unceremoniously fired after winning the Adams but, 17 years later, returned to lead the club through its rebuilding process. He’s currently 15-26-7 this year but has been credited with his ability to coax maximum effort out of his less-than-talented squad, and teaching the Sabres’ youngsters how to play at the NHL level.

Not to say it’s all gone smoothly.

Last month, there were questions surrounding Nolan’s future when Pat LaFontaine, who was hired as club president at the same time Nolan got the head coaching gig, parted ways with the Sabres in what was, reportedly, not an amicable split.

It was unclear at the time if new Sabres GM Tim Murray thought Nolan was as good a fit for the Sabres as LaFontaine did. Based on today’s news, it appears Murray does.

It’s worth noting that Nolan’s best coaching job of the year might’ve actually come outside the NHL. He led Latvia to an impressive eighth-place finish at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, getting his undermanned squad to fight hard in groups stage losses to Switzerland (1-0), the Czech Republic (4-2) and Sweden (5-3) before beating the Swiss in the qualification playoff round.

The Latvians then threw a huge scare into Canada in the tournament quarterfinals before eventually losing, 2-1.

  1. lowenni - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    This is good for the Sabres. Nolan has proven that he’s a great coach who can establish a hard-working, give it all mentality that is important to a rebuilding franchise like Buffalo. Good person, good coach, and Sabres fans should be excited. They have a pretty bright future.

    • 7mantel - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      I agree ,always respected him as a coach . When he became the coach of the Islanders thought he would turn them into true contenders .

  2. sumkat - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    I like him as a guy to instill a work ethic that should bode well for the team in the future. But he’s not a long term answer. 3 years seems about right, this Buffalo rebuild will take at least that long

  3. billsin20xx - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    I think you have one fact wrong, he wasn’t fired from the Sabre’s the first time rather he didn’t accept the one year contract he was offered from the GM who totally wrecked the team the last 15 years, Regier.

    • bullwinkle88 - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:17 AM

      Exactly. Halford didn’t do his homework and relied on rumor. Bad writing. He should know better.

    • bullwinkle88 - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:19 AM

      But you are wrong regarding Regier. However you’re a Bills fan, so you’re excused since this isn’t football.

      • billsin20xx - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        Wrong about Regier??? The guy took a good franchise and ran it into the ground. Didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Did you see Vanek’s comments the other day that when Regier lost both Drury and Briere and didn’t replace them he knew the franchise was doomed?

  4. buffalodave10 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Let’s get it right here, Nolan wasn’t fired, was instead lowballed a one year deal because he banged Hasek’s wife, obviously getting rid of Hasek wasn’t gonna happen, so Nolan was offered an unfair contract to force him out.

    • schetm - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Nolan slept with Hasek’s wife.

      • buddysguys - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        because i am sure it would be released and talked about freely amongst the team and media

  5. cranespy - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Bring Ted to Detroit…..he will take the Red Wings back to the top….?

  6. travishenryskid - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    I’m confused why Mckenzie is reporting this now. This has been public news for weeks.

    • cantescapekarma - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Exactly my thought. I think he’s just speculating a deal will be done soon because when this news was reported Weeks ago, Tim Murray said that he would be expecting an answer around this time…

  7. blomfeld - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    “IT’S A GOOD DAY FOR DYING”

    Congrats to the Sabres for this sensible decision, as Ted Nolan is ‘good’ people who is destined for great things to come … may God bless Buffalo and all of their glorious fans ! :)

  8. President Charles Logan - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    So much for the small rumor that Luke Richardson was going to be the next Sabres Coach

  9. djshnooks - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    Good. An AHL coach didn’t work last time with Rolston. Luke can stay where he is.

  10. President Charles Logan - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    LOL comparing that fruitcake nerd Rolston to a veteran NHL blueliner warhorse like Richardson is silly…

  11. egwiz - Mar 18, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    Now the worst team in hockey has the worst coach in hockey locked up for another 3 years! 😭

  12. ralphwilsonisrich - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    At least that is something good coming out of Buffalo. Now if he can get some hockey players. Good luck Ted your not the problem there.

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