The Buffalo Sabres announced on Tuesday morning that they were removing the “interim” tag from Ron Rolston’s position and bringing him back as the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for the 2013-2014 season.
There were a lot of upset fans when it was announced that Ron Rolston would stay on as Sabres head coach, but this is the right move for the Sabres.
A few weeks ago I talked about how the Sabres needed to decide on the direction of their team before they do anything else and it now appears that they’ve made the decision. With Ron Rolston returning to coach the Sabres for at least another year, it would be highly unlikely that Darcy Regier is going anywhere. While some may insist that for the Buffalo Sabres to go through their re-build they needed to clean house and get rid of both Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston, but by keeping Rolston behind the bench it shows the Sabres are fully committed to the rebuilding project.
The Sabres management and players to an extant have admitted they need to go through a rebuild, by keeping Ron Rolston as coach it
shows that the Sabres management is fully committed to that rebuild. They aren’t looking for a coach to come in and try a quick fix to get this team back to the playoffs, they’re going to wait for a coach to develop players. For fans this should be good news, the Sabres appear to be ready to undergo a full rebuild.
The Buffalo Sabres are one of the youngest teams in the league and with Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller likely leaving town they’re going to get younger. They have a lot of young, inexperienced players and rookies who need to develop and learn the game before they can make an impact. The Sabres are going young and the perfect guy to coach a group of young players is a patient, teaching and developing coach, and that’s exactly what Ron Rolston is.
Rolston has a great history of developing and teaching young players with the US developmental program, whether you like it or not he’s the right coach for this rebuild because he’s good at teaching players.
For myself a key moment in seeing that Ron Rolston really cared was his relationship and his level of communication with the players. After a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens the Buffalo Sabres held a closed door meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to see how each player would play during the final few games when nothing was left to play for. Rolston challenged his players to see their character and they responded by winning their next three games. It was a different Sabres team, they played with heart, hustle and it looked like they truly cared. Ron Rolston knows how to motivate young players which is why he’s perfect for the young rebuilding Buffalo Sabres.
When Rolston took over from Lindy Ruff the Sabres were a disappointing 6-10-1, Rolston turned the team into a winning team finishing the year 15-11-5. Not bad for an interim head coach who lost 3 veteran defencemen and the team’s captain.
Ron Rolston did a good job turning the Buffalo Sabres around and deserved another crack behind the bench. Now he’ll get a full year with a training camp and his own coaching staff to match his philosophy. Rolston will teach and develop the Sabres rookies all while getting them to play their best, it could be an exciting season in Buffalo.