Report: Irbe likely to join Buffalo coaching staff

7 Comments

Sounds like one of the new members of Ted Nolan’s coaching staff will soon be in place.

Per the Buffalo News, longtime NHL goalie Arturs Irbe is a frontrunner to come on board. Irbe, 47, has a long history with Nolan thanks to their time together with the Latvian National team — at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Irbe served as Nolan’s assistant; the former Shark, Canuck, Star and Hurricane also has NHL goalie coach experience from a two-year stint with the Capitals.

Nolan and new GM Tim Murray cleaned the Sabres’ coaching house back in mid-April, removing goalie coach Jim Corsi and assistant coaches Jerry Forton, Teppo Numminen and Joe Sacco. Forton was a Ron Rolston hire and Sacco had ties to the former Buffalo bench boss as well, serving as an assistant with Rolston at the 2010 World Hockey Championships; Corsi was well-regarded but had been with the organization for a long time (14 seasons); Numminen was finally let go after surviving two coaching changes (he was originally hired as part of Lindy Ruff’s staff.)

As for Irbe, it remains to be seen in what capacity he’d serve the Sabres. He could replace Corsi as the club’s goalie coach — Buffalo has two relative youngsters to work with in Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth — but could come aboard as Nolan’s assistant.