It’s been a busy day in Sabres land, with the firing of GM Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston, and the hiring of former Sabres coach Ted Nolan (father of former Erie Otter and current L.A. King Jordan Nolan).
Now here’s my take…it was only a matter of time before Regier’s tenure with the Sabres ended. Lindy Ruff, the winningest coach in franchise history, wasn’t the problem. Neither was Rolston, who didn’t even have a full calendar year in the job.
This team had two top-tier players on the roster at the start of the season, and F Thomas Vanek already has been traded. I would think G Ryan Miller would moved at some point this season. The rest of the team simply isn’t competitive enough to win, either because of a lack of skill or experience. Those issues fell squarely on Regier’s shoulders.
He had the opportunity to bring in quality talent, especially since Terry Pegula purchased the franchise in February 2011.
The arrival of Nolan as head coach and former Sabres great Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations should provide the proverbial breath of fresh air to this team. But there is plenty of work to be done before the Sabres are back to being a winning team again. Are Nolan and LaFontaine the answers? The path to those answers will be interesting if nothing else, given that LaFontaine’s has little front-office experience. One thing is true, though, the Sabres couldn’t get much worse.
- Victor Fernandes