UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- During their 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night, Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan knew what was coming the following morning.
Tipped off by his mother a few days prior, Nolan knew that his father, Ted, was returning from Europe, where he coaches the Latvian National Team, to become the Sabres' head coach for a second time. He managed to keep the news a secret, all while containing his excitement about his dad once again being back in the NHL.
In March, the elder Nolan summoned Shawshank Redemption and told Puck Daddy, "I have never quit hoping, for hope is a good thing," in regards to a potential NHL comeback. But did his son ever have his doubts about it?
"You know, I wasn't quite sure if it would happen again or when it would happen again," Jordan said Thursday after the Kings' morning skate. "For this to happen in this timeframe and the city he's going to is pretty unbelievable ... It's nice to see him back."
Tuesday's game against the Sabres was the second and final time the Kings would face them this season. Nolan has been given the "interim" tag until a new general manager is hired. His son, meanwhile, is eager to face off against him.
"I'd love to play him," said Jordan, who is now trying to line up his brother, Brandon, to replace Ted on the Kings' father's trip next week. "I think it'd be pretty exciting for my family and our people if that'd happen to us. Hopefully next year when we play them it's going to be a good game."
As Jordan's established himself as an NHLer since being called up in the middle of the 2011-12 season, his father deserves credit for helping set him on the right path to a successful professional career.
"[Early in my career] I had to make a few changes in my life to get a contract and make the NHL," Jordan said. "He just told me to dedicate the next 3-5 years of my life to hockey and if it doesn't work then try something new.
"I really took that to heart and changed my life around and now I'm here."
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