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Report: Irbe likely to join Buffalo coaching staff

Jun 26, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

ArtursIrbe Getty Images

Sounds like one of the new members of Ted Nolan’s coaching staff will soon be in place.

Per the Buffalo News, longtime NHL goalie Arturs Irbe is a frontrunner to come on board. Irbe, 47, has a long history with Nolan thanks to their time together with the Latvian National team — at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Irbe served as Nolan’s assistant; the former Shark, Canuck, Star and Hurricane also has NHL goalie coach experience from a two-year stint with the Capitals.

Nolan and new GM Tim Murray cleaned the Sabres’ coaching house back in mid-April, removing goalie coach Jim Corsi and assistant coaches Jerry Forton, Teppo Numminen and Joe Sacco. Forton was a Ron Rolston hire and Sacco had ties to the former Buffalo bench boss as well, serving as an assistant with Rolston at the 2010 World Hockey Championships; Corsi was well-regarded but had been with the organization for a long time (14 seasons); Numminen was finally let go after surviving two coaching changes (he was originally hired as part of Lindy Ruff’s staff.)

As for Irbe, it remains to be seen in what capacity he’d serve the Sabres. He could replace Corsi as the club’s goalie coach — Buffalo has two relative youngsters to work with in Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth — but could come aboard as Nolan’s assistant.


  1. kicksave1980 - Jun 26, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Always liked Irbe. A story on how good of a guy he is… I saw him play in St. Louis when he was with San Jose when I was a kid. A couple weeks after the game, I sent my ticket stub in the mail to him via the Sharks mailing address with a letter asking for him to sign it, and telling him how much I admire him as a goalie. I explained that I was also a goalie and asked for tips. About a month later, I get this huge manilla envelope in the mail. He signed the ticket stub, and also included a couple signed 8×10’s and a handwritten letter with advice on stopping 5-hole shots and positioning. It was awesome that an nhl player would take the time to do that for a 13 year old kid that they’d never met. That alone made Arturs Irbe one of my favorite players for life.

    • withseidelinn - Jun 26, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      That’s awesome. I’ll never forget how unbeatable this guy was in the 2001-2002 Conference Finals against the Leafs. You simply could not get a puck past him.

    • obamareallysucks - Jun 26, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      who is the loser who thumbs downed this one?

  2. cantescapekarma - Jun 26, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    I still can’t believe that they let Jim Corsi go. I thought that Corsi had done a very good job with Buffalo’s goalies over his many years here. St. Louis wasted no time in snatching him up…
    Does anyone have any opinions on Irbe as a goalie coach?

  3. bennydabeata - Jun 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    The white pads that looked like they had been through WWII…

    • storminator16 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      He used to stitch those up after every game. Irbe was a character; I miss those types of players.

  4. jacketsfan7 - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Irbe has experience with neuvirth prior to this with his 2 years in Washington, that’s when neuvy was playing his best

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