Ted Nolan was brought in by the Buffalo Sabres to stabilize a sinking ship that had no direction. Firing Ron Rolston back in November was the first move in the franchise going forward with a rebuild and the man they brought back to the organization is the man who they've decided to continue with.
On Monday morning, the long-awaited announcement was made that general manager Tim Murray had removed the interim tag from Nolan's title and officially named him head coach.
Via the Sabres:
“We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward,” Murray said. “Teddy has proven time and again that he is an exceptional leader, motivator and teacher. He is exactly what we need in a head coach for our hockey team and we’re confident in his ability to guide our players and turn this team around.”
“I said back in November that it was a dream to be able to come back and coach the Sabres and that’s still true today,” Nolan said. “Hockey is my life and Buffalo is a special place for hockey. I’m excited by the challenge facing our team and our organization and I’m truly thankful to have this opportunity.”
It's been reported that the deal is for three years.
In 54 games during his second stint with the organization Nolan has led the Sabres to a 16-30-8 record, all while Murray has been shipping out major parts of the team during this reshaping phase. It will continue at June's entry draft when Buffalo has one of the top picks.
As we saw during the Olympics when he coached Latvia, Nolan has an ability to get the best out of his players. As the Sabres continue to get younger, he's the perfect guy to have around to aid in their development.
- - - - - - -