Interim no more: Sabres name Ted Nolan head coach

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This time around, Ted Nolan isn’t going anywhere.

The Buffalo Sabres announced they’ve dropped the interim tag and signed Nolan to be the official head coach of the team.

“We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward,” Sabres GM Tim Murray said. “Teddy has proven time and again that he is an exceptional leader, motivator and teacher. He is exactly what we need in a head coach for our hockey team and we’re confident in his ability to guide our players and turn this team around.”

It’s reported Nolan signed a three-year extension with the team and that puts him in charge of the rebuild in Buffalo.

With the number of young guys that will be coming up through the Sabres system in the coming years (Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, and more) and the likelihood they could be adding Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, or Aaron Ekblad in the 2014 draft, having a guy in Nolan who has as much experience coaching juniors as he does will help.

Nolan took over for Ron Rolston on Nov. 13. After the Sabres started 4-15-1 under Rolston, they’ve gone 16-30-8 under Nolan and, in spite of numerous changes to the roster, have played more competently under Nolan.

There was doubt as to whether or not Nolan would want to stay in Buffalo after what happened when Pat LaFontaine resigned from the team, but after landing this opportunity to coach again in the NHL, it would’ve been tough to walk away.