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Interim Tag Gone, Sabres Unveil Ted Nolan as Coach

Buffalo, NY (WBEN/AP) - The Buffalo Sabres announced on Monday that Ted Nolan is now the team's permanent head coach, losing the interim tag that he has had since he replaced Ron Rolston in October of last year.

In a press conference on Monday, Nolan confirmed that has agreed to a three year deal with the team.

"I'm really excited about going the next step forward and helping shape this team in to a very competitive team, and a team that one day will hopefully battle for a championship," Nolan said.

"If I could pick a place to go, this would definitely be the place, and I'm excited about being here. If there's a city that deserves a championship this is the one."

Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said that he's liked what he's seen out of Nolan, even in a losing situation. "Every day has been a trying situation," Murray said. "There's been very few games where we haven't been competitive."

"He's been in a lot of situations here that haven't been great," Murray said. "A lot of nights I've liked the way our team competed. We have to get him better players. Some games that we hang on and get a shootout loss or something like that I think with better players and the way he coaches we'll get a better result. In trying times I've liked a lot of what I've seen."

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The extension does not come as a surprise. General manager Tim Murray indicated on several occasions that the two sides were close to completing a deal.

Nolan returned for a second stint in Buffalo in mid-November, when he was hired on an interim basis. He took over for, who was fired along with GM Darcy Regier, after Buffalo got off to a franchise-worst 4-15-1 start.

The Sabres (20-45-9) remain in last place, and in the process of rebuilding from scratch.

Here's the statement the team released Monday morning

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray today announced that Ted Nolan has been named the head coach of the Sabres, after serving as the club’s interim head coach since Nov. 13.

“We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward,” 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.”

Nolan re-joined the Sabres after coaching the team to a 73-72-19 record in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, a stint during which he became the franchise’s first Jack Adams Award winner following a first-place Northeast Division finish in 1996-97. Nolan later spent two seasons as head coach of the New York Islanders, guiding the Islanders to a 74-68-21 record during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. In 381 NHL games coached, Nolan has registered a 163-170-48 overall record.

“I said back in November that it was a dream to be able to come back and coach the Sabres and that’s still true today,” Nolan said. “Hockey is my life and Buffalo is a special place for hockey. I’m excited by the challenge facing our team and our organization and I’m truly thankful to have this opportunity.”

Since August 2011, Nolan has also served as head coach of the Latvian men’s national team. He coached Team Latvia during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where the Latvians nearly upset Team Canada in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.

Nolan began his NHL coaching career as an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers in 1994-95 after building a successful resume in junior hockey that culminated with a Memorial Cup win in 1993-94 in his sixth and final season as head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL). Prior to his coaching career, Nolan tallied 22 points (6+16) in 78 NHL games as a member of the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Darcy RegierRon RolstonTed NolanTim Murray
03/31/2014 8:23AM
Interim Tag Gone, Sabres Unveil Ted Nolan as Coach
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