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Sabre rattling: Buffalo overhauls Nolan’s coaching staff

Apr 16, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

tednolan2ap AP

Ted Nolan was retained to guide the Sabres through their ongoing rebuild, but the same can’t be said for the rest of his coaching staff.

From Sabres PR:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced several changes to the team’s coaching staff, effective immediately: Assistant coaches Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered reassignment within the organization’s hockey department; the contract of assistant coach Teppo Numminen will not be renewed; goaltending coach Jim Corsi will not return as part of the team’s staff next season.

Forton’s removal isn’t a huge surprise — he was part of the Ron Rolston regime, hired out of the collegiate ranks last August. Forton was an assistant coach at Harvard, the same place Rolston coached from 1999-2002.

Like Forton, Sacco was a relatively new hire and has ties to Rolston, as both served as assistants under Scott Gordon for Team USA’s entry at the 2010 World Hockey Championships. Sacco joined the Sabres last July, shortly after being fired as the head coach in Colorado.

Numinen’s departure marks the end of a tenure in which he displayed remarkable survival skills. He was the lone coaching holdover from the Lindy Ruff regime — Numminen was hired as an assistant for the 2012-13 campaign — and worked under both Rolston and Nolan last season.

Corsi, the team’s goalie coach, is the longest-tenured of all the aforementioned staff members, having served as goalie coach since 2001. He’s perhaps best known as the guy responsible for creating the Corsi Rating, and advanced possession statistic that measures shot attempts.

  1. imgoingtowichita - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    It all makes sense but the headline had me thinking “oh no, not again Ted …”

  2. runhigh24 - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    So we can probably cross off Toronto as a potential destination for Mr. Corsi.

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    I hope Mr. Numminen comes back to Wpg as an assistant! One of the most underrated defencemen of his era!

    • gbrim - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      I’m hoping he comes to Arizona for the same reason.

  4. zinger99 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    The Sabres played to 97.4 % attendance this year? I tell ya,Buffalo sports fans are sheep! Embracing mediocrity must be a way of life in Buffalo! They take such pride in the almighty chicken wing for cryin’ out loud!

    • missthemexpos - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      “Buffalo sports fans are sheep”, wow, have you checked out Toronto fans lately?

    • thomasvanek - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Wow that was almost funny. If it is a crime to stick by your team during rough patches then you caught me red handed.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        He sounds like a complete tool, I have no respect for teams (or their “fans”) that have empty buildings when times are tough only to be full once the team starts winning again, filled with people in brand new gear with whoever the current team star is. I’ve always believed that you have to go through the lean years in order to truly appreciate the good years, which is why I’ll proudly support the Flames and why I wore my Denver Broncos hat to work on February 3rd.

        I’m sure zinger99’s favorite teams are whoever the current champions are, every year.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      So, zinger, what are you suggesting? That no fans attend games? Then what? The owner starts talking, let’s move the franchise, citing lack of fan support.

      Good for the fans and good for the Sabres to have such loyal fans. Not sheep. Fans.

    • westsidewilly - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Don’t mess with my wings, brutha’! If the Sabres were only HALF as awesome as Buffalo Wings, we’d have multiple Cups by now. 😉

  5. cantescapekarma - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    I am sad to see Jim Corsi go. I would imagine that he won’t have much trouble finding another job though…
    I like Teppo Numinen but the power play (which he coached) was absolutely horrendous this year.
    Joe Sacco had the penalty kill going really well and the players all seemed to have nothing but good things to say about him. But seeing as he coached Colorado to 29th place last year and now Patrick Roy has the same team in 3rd place, it does make you wonder… (Maybe it was Sacco or maybe he laid the groundwork for the success Colorado is having now…?). I wonder what position they offered him within the organization. I am a but surprised that they did not offer Jim Corsi a position within the organization.

    Does anyone have any opinions on Arturs Irbe? Reports keep naming him as the next Buffalo Sabres goalie coach. I don’t really know much of anything about Irbe, but I honestly kind of feel that it was a mistake to let Jim Corsi go. Buffalo has always seemed to have good goaltending during his tenure. I don’t really know enough about the whole situation to really say with any certainty that this move was a mistake though…

  6. zinger99 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    By all means,pack that arena. Chase that carrot on a string! Supporting your team and being played for a fool are two different things. Loyalty is a TWO way street. That inept organization has been nothing more than a glorified farm team for the majority of its existence. They’re depending on people like you. Now go iron your Sabre jammies!

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