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Report: Sabres were set to extend coach Nolan last week, future uncertain now

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Buffalo interim coach Ted Nolan’s resume is looking a lot better lately.

He took a Latvian national team that no one thought much of and led them to the quarterfinals in the 2014 Winter Games. In the NHL, he’s helped the Sabres at least look respectable after their horrendous start under old coach Ron Rolston.

It’s not surprising that the Sabres would want to keep him around on a more permanent basis. What is eyebrow raising is the revelation that they were ready to announce that they had agreed to terms on a multiyear contract last Tuesday, but then something changed, according to the Buffalo News.

Now it’s not clear if he’s going to stay at all. That corresponds with the news that Nolan’s close friend Pat LaFontaine has resigned from his post as president of hockey operations.

“We did talk about contract,” Nolan said. “Right now is not about my contract. It’s about the situation that just happened. It’s about what transpired in this organization, what happened to a very dear friend.”

Sabres GM Tim Murray made it clear that he wants to keep Nolan onboard, but he’s not going to speculate on what Nolan’s decision will be or “beg” the bench boss to stay.

Between this and the Ryan Miller trade, the Sabres have been dominating the headlines lately and they are likely to stay in the news with the trade deadline approaching.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)