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Ted Nolan was fired Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The odds, of course, were stacked against Ted Nolan succeeding in his second run as Sabres coach, which ended with his firing Sunday night, less than a day after a 30th-place finish.

Nolan wasn’t truly Tim Murray’s guy. Sure, the general manager awarded him a three-year contract late last season. But old friend Pat LaFontaine hired Nolan as interim coach early in 2013-14 before leaving months later.

Perhaps Murray felt obligated to keep the popular coach for a trial or …

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Ted Nolan signed a three-year contract last year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In a not-so-surprising move, the Sabres fired Ted Nolan tonight, ending the popular coach’s second run here.

The rebuilding Sabres just finished the season 30th overall.

In addition, the team also fired assistant coach Danny Flynn and won’t renew the contracts of assistants Bryan Trottier and Tom Coolen.

Stay tuned for more details.

Update: General manager Tim Murray said he decided to fire Nolan today after six hours of interviews with players.

“I’ve said all along I want to improve this team every …

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Ted Nolan took over the Sabres early last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Six weeks into last season, Sabres winger Tyler Ennis was struggling badly. The Xs and Os of hockey were overwhelming him and sapping the creativity from his instinctive game.

In the past, Ennis said, some coaches “limited me in terms of my creativity and what I’m allowed to do.”

Then coach Ted Nolan took over the Sabres 21 games into 2013-14.

“He’s smart in that he understands what guys can do and what guys can’t do,” Ennis said about Nolan on …

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Andrey Makarov played well in his NHL debut Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Finally – or perhaps a more appropriate word would be “mercifully” – the end of the Sabres’ long, trying season is in sight.

Three games are left. A regulation loss tonight at home to the Carolina Hurricanes or later this week will cement 30th place, ending probably the oddest campaign in the franchise’s 45-year history.

Hours after the Sabres’ 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday, the 29th-place Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3, moving them …

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Ted Nolan's Sabres have lost nine straight games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost a franchise-record nine consecutive games and 31 of 45 overall this trying season. They rank 29th in a 30-team league and dead last or close to the bottom in every major statistical category. They just lost 7-0 to a reeling Minnesota Wild team, their worst home defeat since 1977.

Of course, the Sabres, who host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, were supposed to lose this season. But was the rebuilding club supposed to lose so badly …

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John Scott played two seasons with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – John Scott was scratched again Tuesday, the 15th time in 21 games the hulking San Jose Sharks tough guy has watched this season.

Scott understands his role means he must sit out regularly. Still, the popular former Sabres fighter wanted to play badly in his return to the First Niagara Center.

“It’s always fun to come back,” Scott said prior to the Sabres’ 4-1 win. “I wish I was playing tonight. I could get into a fight, show them what …

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Matt Moulson (left) shares a laugh with Tyler Ennis on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Through all the losses last season, through all the stress and uncertainty, Matt Moulson kept envisioning the future here.

The high-scoring winger endured the toughest season of his career in 2013-14, skating for three teams during a dizzying six-month stretch. The Sabres lost 28 of the 44 games he played. They changed coaches and general managers. Days before they traded him to the Minnesota Wild, Pat LaFontaine resigned as president of hockey operations.

Still, Moulson saw a bright vision from …

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Darcy Regier was fired in November. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Welcome back to the NHL, Darcy Regier.

The former Buffalo Sabres general manager has been hired as the senior vice president and assistant GM of the Arizona Coyotes. The 58-year-old hadn’t been heard from since the Sabres fired him after a wretched 4-15-1 start in November.

“Thrilled to bring him on,” GM Don Maloney said in an interview with the team. “I think he’s a great resource for the organization, for me. He’s intelligent creative, experienced, knows the league, knows people in …

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Ted Nolan has help elevate the play of Drew Stafford (left) and Tyler Ennis (right). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford’s first conversation with Sabres coach Ted Nolan lasted no more than two minutes, the winger said. It was a straightforward, “man-to-man” chat.

“Looking-at-me-in-the-eyes kind of conversation,” Stafford said Monday, hours after the Sabres removed Nolan’s interim tag and gave him a three-year contract extension.

Stafford was struggling badly back in mid-November. He had one goal and had just lost his alternate captaincy. Nolan didn’t care. As a veteran, Stafford deserved respect. Nolan immediately upped his ice time.

“Just that …

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Ted Nolan had his interim tag removed today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has been watching Sabres coach Ted Nolan closely for months. In trying times, the general manager said, he’s liked Nolan’s work.

The Sabres, despite the NHL’s weakest roster and worst record, still compete most nights. Murray likes Nolan’s work with the youngsters and his popularity with the veterans.

“All I’ve heard is positives,” Murray said this afternoon in announcing a three-year contract extension and removing Nolan’s interim tag.

For Nolan, who also coached the Sabres from 1995-97, Buffalo is …

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