Tim Murray was officially named general manager of the Buffalo Sabres Thursday and as soon as the questions began, the future of head coach Ted Nolan was brought up. Many new GMs want to bring in their own head coach, not one left over from the previous regime. Nolan, for his part, has done his job well with the interim tag.
Since taking over for Ron Rolston on Nov. 13, the Sabres have gone 8-11-4 after winning four of their first 20 games of the season. It's not enough to think playoffs, but enough to stabilize a ship that was headed for deep, dark waters.
"Teddy’s my guy right now," said Murray during his introductory press conference Thursday. But appearing on the FAN590's Hockey Central at Noon on Friday afternoon, Murray pretty much confirmed that "right now" will soon be "beyond this season."
Q. Is the interim tag still on him then? Or did you remove that?
MURRAY: "Today it is."
"...yes, the interim tag is still on, but we probably will do something for him there that it won't be on him for long."
There's a lot of work ahead for Murray, so immediately checking off the "head coach" box on his to-do list is a good first move. For Nolan, he now doesn't have to worry about whether or not he'll be looking for another NHL gig this summer.
"He doesn't have to audition. He's our coach," said Murray. "I think that we in this game, we judge and get judged every day, but we may talk to him shortly about his future ... right now I'm happy with Teddy.
"I'm happy with the effort and we need some better players to carry it through."
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