Sabre rattling: Buffalo overhauls Nolan’s coaching staff


Ted Nolan was retained to guide the Sabres through their ongoing rebuild, but the same can’t be said for the rest of his coaching staff.

From Sabres PR:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced several changes to the team’s coaching staff, effective immediately: Assistant coaches Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered reassignment within the organization’s hockey department; the contract of assistant coach Teppo Numminen will not be renewed; goaltending coach Jim Corsi will not return as part of the team’s staff next season.

Forton’s removal isn’t a huge surprise — he was part of the Ron Rolston regime, hired out of the collegiate ranks last August. Forton was an assistant coach at Harvard, the same place Rolston coached from 1999-2002.

Like Forton, Sacco was a relatively new hire and has ties to Rolston, as both served as assistants under Scott Gordon for Team USA’s entry at the 2010 World Hockey Championships. Sacco joined the Sabres last July, shortly after being fired as the head coach in Colorado.

Numinen’s departure marks the end of a tenure in which he displayed remarkable survival skills. He was the lone coaching holdover from the Lindy Ruff regime — Numminen was hired as an assistant for the 2012-13 campaign — and worked under both Rolston and Nolan last season.

Corsi, the team’s goalie coach, is the longest-tenured of all the aforementioned staff members, having served as goalie coach since 2001. He’s perhaps best known as the guy responsible for creating the Corsi Rating, and advanced possession statistic that measures shot attempts.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.