Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The Buffalo Sabres are very familiar with Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine from their first tenures. It's been more than 15 years since they've been in Buffalo, so what do they bring back to the Sabres table?
Kevin Allen of USA Today says LaFontaine has worked at various levels of hockey. "He coached youth hockey in Long Island, and he was involved with the Islanders, but he ended up leaving. I don't think the fit was quite right with him," says Allen. "Pat LaFontaine has a spotless reputation as a human being and a hockey person" that should help the club, notes Allen.
Ted Nolan has traveled the world since leaving Buffalo the first time. "He was involved in junior hockey and ended up with the Latvian national team," says Allen, who notes there's been speculation Nolan had been blackballed, but nothing was proven. Nolan was also coach of the New York Islanders. "He had success in Buffalo, he was popular and got the team to perform there, and the Sabres hope to use that nostalgia to re-energize the fans and the team," notes Allen.
Allen notes the Sabres are taking a page out of the Colorado Avalanche's playbook. "They moved Joe Sakic into heading up hockey operations like Pat LaFontaine, and brought Patrick Roy as coach and that's triggered a renaissance on how that team has performed," says Allen. "The Sabres have good young players and could rebound quickly if they make the right moves over the next 12 months.".