Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Fans Start Lighting Tires On Fire In Streets Around First Niagara Center

Has your warm and fuzzy feeling gone right out the window?  The Buffalo Sabres came out of the Olympic break poised, set and ready to get on with the rebuild to take them from the worst team in the league to back into contention.  Sure maybe not this year, but the parts were there to make it happen.  Ok sure the title on the article is a little more drastic than what is happening in Buffalo right now, but maybe tire fires around the arena are necessary to start protecting the team from itself.


Pat LaFontaine was brought back into the fold as President of Hockey Operations, Craig Patrick was advising, and we had a general manager that was ready to go to war to get this hockey team that had apparently suffered the implosion necessary to make sure the rebuild would go off without a hitch.

Apparently – keeping Ted Nolan as head coach was a qualifying part of taking the job in Buffalo – because today comes the news that despite a three game winning streak at home; and getting something for soon to be free agents Ryan Miller and Steve Ott – the interim tag remains on Ted Nolan and it appears he is not coming back next year.

Bringing him in after firing Ron Rolston was a smart thing to do – he was a motivator and expected people to work.  I thought the second Buffalo Sabres Ted Nolan experiment would last at least the remainder of this season and possibly next, as the team found its footing.

Well apparently long gone are the warm and fuzzy everyone gets a hug on their way into work Darcy Regier days, and Ted Nolan finds himself looking at being an unrestricted free agent in the NHL coaching world again.

Has GM Tim Murray seen enough of what he can get out of the current coaching staff and players that he is ready to make a move – or did the handling of the Ryan Miller/Steve Ott situation not sit well with members of the organization and coaching staff that it has forced the President of Hockey Operations out the door?

Apparently the implosion at the foot of Washington Street hasn’t completed yet – but fans are still sitting here wondering what is going on within the black hole.

Hold on Sabres fans – the ride is about to get real bumpy – and until the deadline on Wednesday, apparently the gloves are off because there is a new sheriff in town, and its going to be Tim Murray’s way or the highway.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Pat Lafontaine Tim Murray

  • Dano

    People need to understand that Murray was brought in to right the ship. Maybe Patty should have thought harder into the process before selecting Murray. Patty has no reason to get in a miff if the guy HE hired starts doing what he was hired to do.

    On the other hand, Murray has REALLY put a stake into the heart of the LOCAL fanbase. ‘ Sell everything for the draft dreamers ‘.. and alienate the fans that fill the seats.. GREAT MOVE MURRAY!

    I can see trading away Miller for ” Something “. They guy is better then half way through his playing days, served the Sabres well and deserves to be respected enough to be put into contention for a Cup run with a team making a run. Ott? He is absolutely loved by Buffalo. Ott openly admitted he loved it here and wanted to stay.

    Tim : The Indians ( Senecas and Iroq’s ) are tire burners, not Sabres fans ;) . Though, I do have a pile of tractor tires Im going to offer up to anyone whom wishes to do the deed ;) .

    • Thomas Eric

      Why are people not considering ott resigns with us in the off season?

      • qwicwted

        Thomas, it is very rare that something like that happens, although Ott is a rare player and if he gets his SC…..who knows. But most likely he won’t be coming back. Thing is we all knew and know that Miller, Ott, Moulson, Ennis, Ehrhoff, Tallinder and even Meyers are all assets that could be moved out for draft picks or prospects. I also heard that Nolan as been offered a 3 year extension – so we’ll see.
        Patty had a chance to name himself GM and there were plenty of people that were urging him to do just that. Remember… took Patty a long time to name his GM and Murray was “his guy”. So….maybe he assumed that everything would be run by him and when you hire someone to do a job, you got to let them do it.

      • Dano

        If a company that was in bad shape hired you and made you feel welcomed.. then that same company gave you to a competitor and then had your old boss ( whom you may have liked or even spoken to about a raise or other things with the job ) then left for ‘ whatever reasons ‘.. Do you REALLY want to go into such a problematic environment?

        Add to that the thought that you wanted to stay there, have your family there and expressed such to the public and became a fan favorite..

        *I* dont believe Ott will be back but I would openly welcome such a thing to happen.

        What kind of message does that send to those in the locker room? Play your best, be a leader, express wanting to stay and… then your gone.

        As there is a thought of players just being around for the money and not being loyal to teams, this is proof that it goes both ways.

        • Mike Flynn

          What if the deal was made by sending ott? If Murray doesn’t make that deal and miller walks in the summer for nothing what then? Every fan would want Murray’s head, they’d say he should have made the deal just to get something for miller. It seems some sabres fans are never happy unless they are complaining

          • Jes


            Patty’s the one who is been a total child in this little drama. He did it before with Isles to. No thank you for someone like that in the organization. Getting rid of him in the early stages of this rebuild is a good thing. Don’t need that kind of stuff. This just speaks volumes to his character.

    • Jes

      Lol love that last little part Dano…

  • Caitlin Campbell

    Just to note the word is Nolan has been offered an extension….

  • Kevin

    Good grief, did the wind change direction up there. The Sabres are worse than my kids. Just as soon as they get something great in their hands, they find a way to &^%$ it up!!!! Stability and a positive aura from management on down was needed for this team, and still is. I thought we had the management and coaching part down. &*^%$. This sets us back. Now nationally we are poop again. We were just beginning to earn respect. Oh! well, I certainly hope it doesn’t tun into another Ted Nolan fight with management again, or I should correct myself Sheriff Murry. Grumpy Cat Murray.

  • Mike Flynn

    If this is all over who the coach is then I’m with Murray he’s the gm he gets to pick to coach I’m pretty sure pat said that the new gm would/could choose a new coach that’s why Nolan had the interim tag. This is what we need a gm who works for the team not pat lafintaine it sucks to loose him but to me there only needs to be one chief and that’s Murray.

  • Joe

    We all wonder y players dont want to come here lol

  • Thomas Rogers

    Not for nothing but everyone knew this was gonna happen, it had to happen and to think that we should sign a older goalie to a 6 or 7 year contract at money that would cripple us. I mean we already had Miller and had good players around him and didn’t win sh!t so this fantasy that Miller is a savior is ridiculous. We need high end players and if everyone believes that they won’t sign here then the only way we get them here is through the draft so buckle up and get ready for a tough stretch and quit bitching about the rebuild because this is how it’s gonna be.

    Go Sabres not players, love the team not the number

    • davidmuscalo

      That older goalie will get long-term contract in St. Louis to go with his Stanley Cup ring.

      • Jes

        Lol have you seen the talent level of St. Louis? It’s not only Miller who’s going to win them the cup. And good hope he resigns or gets a ring this season, then we get a 1st instead of a 3rd.

        • davidmuscalo

          If we get a 1st-round pick, we will picking in 30th place – those picks rarely become first-rate NHL players.

          • Jes

            Really? Deep drafts they can become a lot. Where was Perry drafted? Hell what about Weber? Anythings possible. Miller would’ve made nothing of the rest of his time here. We’d be a bottom 5 time for at least one more season.

          • davidmuscalo

            Yes, really, Perry, like Miller are aberrations. Drafting is a crap shoot, sometimes you get lucky, most times you lose. Gambling is an art, not a science.

          • Jes

            Signing overpriced UFA’s is also a crapshoot. Leino anybody? You honestly think we’d be any better then 30th in the league with Miller in the fold? Look at the standings bud we were 30th with them. We gambled once by going out and grabbing big names like Ehrhoff, Leino, Ott, Hodgson and Regher now it’s time to take a page out of Pittsburgh’s and Chicago’s play book.

            What do you call signing a UFA at the tail end of his career to big money? It’s a gameble. Tonnes of people on this site wanted to go after Clarkson in last summers UFA period and look at him now. He’s just another Leino. What about Weiss with the Wings.

            An abberation? Ya ok. Many of the players in the NHL come after the first round something I think you don’t see but whatever.

          • davidmuscalo

            You are right, we have gotten burned by UFAs, but not because they are UFAs, because they are and were the wrong UFSs. The right UFAs that would have helped the team won’t come to Buffalo.

            What I am really saying is that: 1. Even if we do get lucky in the draft and get good players (Brian Campbell is on example) they develop there skills to a high level in Buffalo, become UFAs and then leave to play somewhere else. This is why Buffalo is a farm team for the rest of the NHL. 2. The top UFAs (Nash, Richards, etc.) won’t come to Buffalo.

            Regier was unsuccessful in building a competitive team and Murray will also fail.

            In other words, what I am saying is that we will never have another contender in Buffalo. The Sabres have great fans and Buffalo is a great sports town, but our teams are unsuccessful because talented players don’t want to come here. We are dealing with millionaires and millionaires can afford to control their destiny.

            ……….And yes this bleak and very pessimistic blog, but one I believe is prophetic.

          • Jes

            I think…

            1. Players in the past didnt leave because they didn’t want to be here, it’s more so the owner never committed any money to them. Now we have a committed owner so I think we can make good. But ya Buffalo isn’t anyone’s first choice. I’ve never been but from others posts and stuff it seems more of a family place rather then a place where young guys like Seguin and Kane can go party.

            2. Agreed. They might in a couple years once they know things are going good. I think Orpik and Callahan have a good shot at being here next season. But I guess there locals so it wouldn’t really count as big name signing here IMO. Biggest name signing here in a long time was Ehrhoff. Before that, I don’t even know who it was? Bob Essenssa? Lol

          • davidmuscalo

            We have a committed owner, but his money hasn’t brought the kind of talent to Buffalo that is need. Again, no high profile free agents were attracted since Terry has owned the team and it isn’t because Regier and Terry didn’t try. The only free agents they were able to get were over-the-hill Rivert and under-performing Ehrhoff.

            They are trying to dump Ehrhoff and his ridicules contract, but that will be a tough sell. Just think, we might get more draft picks for him or perhaps another useless prospect.

  • Jes

    Tim we weren’t going to be in contention for at least 3 years even with Miller and Ott in the system. I don’t think you seem to grasp what a rebuild is. You want Miller to leave for nothing in return? Lafontaine is a baby who went crying home to mommy when he didn’t get his way (Yet again, surprise) of resigning Miller (Which was never going to happen).Sabres are on the right track. Nolan not the coach next year? Nolan is a good HC for the next year or two but beyond no thanks. Last I heard he got offered a 3 year contract?

  • Craig C.

    “And it appears he (Nolan) is not coming back…..” Where the heck did you get that idea? Not true at all.

  • Mo Mikulec

    Geez it seems like pegula doesn’t care what happens to the sabres and wants to see them fail. Murray and Black are just full of lies . And it’s going back to when Darcy was here . So was it really Darcy ? Or the owner? Seems like the higher ups want to see buffalo sabres fail so we can be sold out of state ….,