It’s over

Archive:
Rolston

Jim Corsi joined the Sabres in 1998. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired or reassigned all of the assistant coaches Ted Nolan inherited from the previous regime.

Jim Corsi, the team’s popular goalie coach since 1998, is gone, the club announced today. So is Teppo Numminen, whose contract wasn’t renewed after three seasons. Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered new jobs within the organization’s hockey department after just one season with the team.

Nolan replaced Ron Rolston on an interim basis Nov. 13 before signing a three-year …

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Tim Murray discussed the Sabres' future bluntly Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tim Murray has thought about how an NHL team could tank a season. The general manager even discussed some scenarios with the media. But he has no intention of keeping the Sabres at the bottom of the league.

With a couple of franchise-altering talents available in the 2015 draft, plenty of teams could purposely field less-than-stellar lineups next year.

The Sabres, whose previous regime played for draft picks, won’t be among them.

“I don’t know how to do it properly, I …

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Mike Weber talks to the media Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Mike Weber spoke passionately, like a man embarrassed by what he had just experienced. The worst season in the Sabres’ 43-year history clearly jolted the defenseman.

“You don’t want that feeling walking around town that you’ve disappointed people or you’re letting people down, especially a hardworking city like Buffalo,” Weber said Monday inside the First Niagara Center. “I think to every man we’ve accepted the challenge.”

Weber talked about changing the team’s culture, eliminating excuses and playing hockey for the …

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Ville Leino couldn't score in 58 games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It happened every time Ville Leino touched the puck, whether the Sabres center was 10 feet from the net or in another zone.

The 18,804 fans inside the First Niagara Center cheered the Finn wildly throughout Sunday’s season finale, hoping he would score his first goal in his 58th appearance. Some implored him to shoot.

Alas, Leino couldn’t score, completing what was arguably the worst season ever for a Sabres forward.

“I haven’t thought about it much here,” Leino said about …

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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
2

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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Ted Nolan re-joined the Sabres on Nov. 13. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres removed the interim tag from Ted Nolan today, signing the coach to a reported three-year contract extension.

While the rebuilding club is 16-30-8 under Nolan, the culture around the Sabres has changed dramatically. Nolan’s straightforward approach has connected with many players, most notably center Tyler Ennis and winger Drew Stafford, who have been thriving in recent months.

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

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Thomas Vanek played his first game back in Buffalo on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Back in the summer, Thomas Vanek had a simple, straightforward question for the Sabres. The slick winger wanted to know what direction the team was going.

“No one really had an answer,” Vanek said Sunday prior to the Montreal Canadiens’ 2-0 win against Sabres, his first game back here. “That’s when I kind of made up my mind July 1 (unrestricted free agency) was probably a goal of mine.”

The Sabres, of course, traded Vanek, their co-captain, to the New …

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Drew Stafford (right) batttles Chicago's Jonathan Toews on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – About 15 Sabres gathered at a Tampa Bay restaurant Wednesday and nervously watched TSN’s coverage of the NHL trade deadline, unsure what their futures held.

“It was definitely a little stressful, a little anxiety involved,” said Sabres winger Drew Stafford, one veteran rumored to be on the block.

Stomachs churned and filled with butterflies staring at the screen. Everything can change in an instant.

“You’re watching and you’re seeing these guys on this panel that are basically announcing a tremendous change …

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Ted Black (left) and Tim Murray discuss the Sabres' tumultuous weekend Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – A Sabres icon bolted less than four months after returning to the team he loved. The franchise goalie and captain got traded.

The Sabres just endured perhaps the most trying weekend in their 43-year history. That was before the popular coach sounded like he might want to leave.

“It’s a lot for our fans to swallow in a short amount of time,” Sabres president Ted Black said Sunday, a day after Pat LaFontaine abruptly resigned as president of hockey operations.

Black …

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