The Buffalo Sabres announced that head coach Ted Nolan has been relieved of his duties.
Nolan, who was in his second stint as the Sabres’ bench boss, had a 40-87-17 record with Buffalo since assuming the team’s coaching duties in November 2013. While that’s clearly a horrendous record, Buffalo was in the early stages of a rebuild over his tenure and expectations were consequently very low. With that in mind, how much the Sabres’ shortcomings this season were really his fault is a subject open for debate.
It might be that Sabres GM Tim Murray is being swayed as much by the possible coaching market as he is by his evaluation of Nolan. After all, there might be an “unprecedented” number of top-tier bench bosses on the market this summer. That potentially includes Mike Babcock, who does have old ties with Murray. Sabres owner Terry Pegula is also likely to be very competitive in a potential bidding war, should it come to that, per Bob McKenzie.
Nolan will now seek another job with 471 games as a bench boss under his belt and a 187-227-19-38 record. He’s also gained recognition for his work with the Latvian national team, which turned heads in the 2014 Winter Olympics by beating Switzerland in the Qualification round and then holding their own against Canada.
In addition to Nolan, Buffalo fired assistant coach Danny Flynn and won’t renew the contracts of Bryan Trottier or Tom Coolen.