The Buffalo Sabres are in the midst of a massive rebuild that has seen them strip their lineup bare of veterans Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek over the last several months. While winning the division was not expected this season, losing basically every night is always bad for business. And so far in 2013-14, the Sabres are losing on most nights.
Today the club fired general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston in favour of Pat Lafontaine, who becomes President of Hockey Operations, and former Sabres coach Ted Nolan, who rejoins the team after a 17 year absence.
Reaction around the NHL is abundant: Here is what notable hockey personalities had to say and report about the moves made by the Buffalo Sabres organization today:
Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula says, now former GM Darcy Regier was shocked upon hearing his tenure with the club would be coming to an end:
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) November 13, 2013
Ex-Sabres captain Jason Pominville agreed that something needed to be done within the organization:
Jason Pominville on #sabres shakeup: "Something had to be done."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 13, 2013
As for player reaction to the Nolan hiring, the Sabres reportedly gave their new coach a round of applause when he entered the team room:
Pat Lafontaine " The players all clapped when Ted Nolan walked into the room"
— WGR 550 (@WGR550) November 13, 2013
The Buffalo Sabres official Twitter account tweeted an image of Interim head coach Ted Nolan shaking hands with future star Mikhail Grigorenko:
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 13, 2013
Chris Botta, writer for the New York Times raises an interesting point when he says:
Ted Nolan will coach that team right out of a top-3 pick.
— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) November 13, 2013
Sabres beat writer, Mike Harrington shared intel he received from Pat Lafontaine after today’s press conference:
After the presser ended, Pat LaFontaine told me all of this came together in the last 10 days, mostly in Florida with Pegula. #Sabres
— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) November 13, 2013
Pat Lafontaine is actively searching for the next Sabres general manager:
Pat LaFontaine says he's actively searching for the next Sabres GM.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) November 13, 2013
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News touches on the public relations aspect of the moves made in Buffalo today:
There are many questions worth asking about Buffalo's moves. But you must admit, Pat LaFontaine improves an image damaged by Kaleta & Scott.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) November 13, 2013
Bruce Arthur of the National Post on the Sabres decision to hire Lafontaine despite his lack of experience as President of Hockey Ops:
So the Sabres are being handed to Pat LaFontaine, whose NHL executive experience consists of six weeks as a senior advisor to Charles Wang.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) November 13, 2013
And finally, Keith McShea of Buffalo News:
RT @BuffNewsVogl: The difference between Pat LaFontaine saying "patience" and Darcy Regier saying "suffering" is immeasurable.
— Keith McShea (@KeithMcSheaBN) November 13, 2013