What To Make Of Pat LaFontaine’s Resignation


Well, it has certainly been a crazy 24 hours for the Buffalo Sabres. Last night they traded away former franchise goaltender Ryan Miller alongside team captain Steve Ott and tonight Pat LaFontaine who was brought in to find the next GM has resigned from his position as Director of Hockey Operations.

Rumblings regarding unrest in the Buffalo Sabres front office broke out on twitter early this afternoon. The two main streams of thought were issues over interim head coach Ted Nolan and the big trade that went down last night. We’ll start with interim head coach Ted Nolan.

Let’s make it clear that Nolan is very much a LaFontaine guy, not a Murray guy. While LaFontaine searched hard to ensure he found a GM who would keep his coach, when a GM is in charge he can make his own choices. However that notion has been shot down as the Sabres have reportedly offered Nolan a three contract extension.

The other notion that LaFontaine left willingly is likely not the truth either as many sources have claimed the situation got

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

ugly awfully fast and if he really didn’t want to leave his job with the NHL why did he in the first place?

Remember when I said that Pat LaFontaine himself really wanted to become the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres? It appears I may not have been that far off. I don’t know why LaFontaine didn’t name himself GM or if he got spooked by the Calgary Flames GM search, however one thing is clear, LaFontaine wanted a say in whatever Tim Murray did.

If one doesn’t want to be the GM, but wants final say on things the GM does, what the heck do they want? Also remember when LaFontaine was originally asked about Ryan Miller he hinted that he wanted to re-sign him?

For anyone who has yet to read between the lines, I’ll break down what happened between LaFontaine and the Buffalo Sabres for you. There are two options. Either Murray set up the Miller deal last night and LaFontaine said no while Terry Pegula sided with Murray, which upset LaFontaine. Or LaFontaine was not consulted in the deal last night until it was too late.

LaFontaine wanted his opinion and voice heard in everything Tim Murray wanted to do, and rightfully so. Except Murray didn’t buy into that plan. If you hire a GM you have to let him do what he wants, especially during a rebuild. LaFontaine threw a fit and while his feelings were hurt decided he was going to take his puck home since he wasn’t getting his way. In simple terms, LaFontaine didn’t get his way with whatever was happening with the Sabres and, as a result things didn’t go well as he leaves, further tarnishing the Sabres reputation.

Important to note, Pat LaFontaine also left his GM role with the New York Islanders after just 40 days on the job and has now quit after just 106 with the Sabres.

Tim Murray was brought in to be the GM and lead the Sabres through the rebuild, if Pat LaFontaine wanted final say on everything the GM did then he should have named himself GM when he had the chance.