Buffalo Sabres Ted Nolan Could Be Entering Final Games As Head Coach


When Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan was hired I was excited for him as most fans where. But in all seriousness who thought it would work.?

Nolan’s first stint as the Sabres’ coach was from 1995 to 1997, where he won the Jack Adams Award in 1997 as the league’s top coach. His record in that time was 73-72-19. Now in his second stint as Sabres head coach it is looking like he is just fed up with some of managements decisions and how things are going.

Nolan was brought back in November of 2013 by Pat LaFontaine who was president of hockey operations at the time. LaFontaine resigned in march 2014 and rejoined the NHL.

Nolan who replaced Ron Rolston as coach was a blessing for Buffalo Sabres fans. He was loved by many and we all thought it was nice to see a familiar face back in Buffalo. When Nolan was hired, he was as excited as you would expect, he also knew that the Sabres where in rebuilding mode.

In March 2014 Ted Nolan signed a 3 year contract extension and had the ‘intern’ tag removed. Upon his new contract he said “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.”  Nolan finished out the season with a 17-36-9 record.

“I said back in November that it was a dream to be able to come back…

Nolan, One year into his contract seems like a coach that is out of sync with General Manager Tim Murray.

Tyler Myers, who was traded to the Winnipeg Jets to bring in Evander Kane was in Nolan’s terms “one of those guys you build your team around.” Ok, well we know that Nolan has no say in the matter of who stays and who go’s. Also lets look at Mark Pysyk, a great prospect for the Sabres and should be on the roster next year.  Nolan indicated that he would want Mark Pysyk on the roster if he had a choice.

It just seems like Nolan has no say at all. right.? I mean how can a coach run a team that he has no control over. Well, I guess the only control he has is on the starting lineup. There is no question to Nolan’s abilities to coach, or on his motivation. But why does it seem like the Sabres are pushing him out the door on a daily basis.

So this leaves me to the question… Is Tim Murray going into a different direction next season.?

There is a report GM Tim Murray will hire current Binghamton Senators coach Luke Richardson.

There is also a plea from Buffalo News John Vogl to hire Wayne Gretzky to be their next coach. As Vogl sees Gretzky as the best fit.

But I would like to see the Sabres go after a coach that has won a Stanley Cup as a coach and knows how to work with prospects and veterans. I want Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. Yup, thats right, I want Babcock. Who wouldn’t?

Babcock’s contract runs out this season and has not yet signed an extension. So if he becomes available, Sabres GM Tim Murray should go hard after a coach that has a track record for winning.

Babcock has a record of 415 wins, 198 losses and 91 overtime losses in his tenure as Red Wings head coach. Ohh, he also has not missed the playoffs in his 9 seasons, winning the division in 5 of them.

I understand that the Red Wings are built to succeed. But Babcock could be another great addition to the pursuit of a Stanley Cup here in Buffalo.

There is no question to his track record, there is also no question that if he does become available, he will be on high demand from other teams. The likes of Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks have already been rumored to have interest.  There is also a report that that Babcock will likely get 5 million plus a year. But I don’t care, I want him.

If there is any question if he is staying with Red Wings or leaving, there is a report back in October that he turned down a ‘firm offer’ from Red Wings.

So in closing, I want Mike Babcock. I will be sad to see Ted Nolan leave, but its not like he really had a chance with the way things went down in Buffalo.

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