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Sixteen years later, coach Ted Nolan welcomes fresh start with Sabres

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 2:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Sixteen years later, coach Ted Nolan welcomes fresh start with Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Ted Nolan has had special moments in his life: getting married, the birth of his children and coaching his first NHL game.

Getting the call from Pat LaFontaine to return as coach of the Buffalo Sabres was on that level. Even on a last-place team, it is a welcome fresh start for Nolan.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native will be back behind the bench Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But Nolan has been too worried about learning his players' names to be nervous.

It's an organizational change on the fly for the Sabres, who fired general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston on Wednesday. LaFontaine took over as president of hockey operations and called Nolan to join him and finish out the season.

Nolan was travelling in Europe when he got the call from LaFontaine, who promised him Broadway theatre tickets. Reviving his role as a prankster from his playing days, LaFontaine told Nolan that he wouldn't be able to see the "Book of Mormon" musical or watch his son Jordan play this weekend. Instead, he'd be coaching the Sabres.

Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions