This morning, I went to get my medical treatment and got plugged in for my infusion. I had just written my morning blog, which I normally do during my treatment, and had started watching Netflix. Suddenly, my phone went off stating that the Buffalo Sabres were having a “major” news conference at 10:30 am.
My mind of course starts racing as I hop on Twitter, which has now taken over as the major news source. I see very quickly that Pat LaFontaine is to be named the new president of hockey operations for the Buffalo Sabres. I start thinking that I’m strangely ok with this. I was always a huge fan of LaFontaine. I grew up watching him play and I always thought him to be a sharp guy and a great player. I still have my Lafontaine jersey and wear it often. In fact, the pick of me on my Twitter account, that’s my LALALALALALA LaFontaine jersey I’m wearing.
Love that guy. One of my favorite players and in my opinion, one of the best American born players if not the
best American born player. Too bad injuries cut his career short.
So, I start drifting, relaxing, still getting my treatment, when all of a sudden, I read Bucky Gleason’s tweet at about 10 am...
“Now hearing that Darcy and Rolston are out. LaFontaine in and possibly Ted Nolan returning as coach”
Bucky Gleason from Twitter on 11/13/13 at about 10 am.
So, I start going crazy trying to find out if anyone can verify this. This is difficult when getting an infusion. I loaded the Buffalo Sabres TV to watch the press conference. As soon as I saw Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine walk out for the press conference, I knew what had happened. Then, Terry Pegula came out and stated;
“I am here to announce that last night, I relieved Darcy Regier of his duties as the Buffalo Sabres General Manager...”
16 years of waiting for this.
This has been a long time coming. A VERY long time coming.
Before I move onto looking at Nolan and LaFontaine coming back to Buffalo, I really feel bad for Ron Rolston. I think the guy really deserves a shot. Even LaFontaine acknowledged that Rolston didn’t really get a fair break in all of this. I agree 110%, and wish him the best of luck in future endeavors.
However, I don’t want to dwell on the past. I’m excited to look forward to the new direction that the Buffalo Sabres are headed in.
I’m a big fan of Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine. I had a great interaction with Ted Nolan when I met him in 2011 when he was still GM of the Rochester Amerks. Nolan came up to the non-for-profit organization that I’m on the board of directors for. The Amerks were giving the organization tickets for their patients, and Nolan came for a tour of the organization and to deliver said tickets. I got the chance to talk with him for a little bit.
He’s an extremely driven man who puts hard work and emotion into everything he does. He wanted to know a lot about the organization and wasn’t just going through the motions for a photo op. He even had suggestions for trying to improve what we do, and other individuals who do charity work. One of those individuals, was Pat LaFontaine, and informed us of his charity. He stated that LaFontaine may be interested in getting involved with us as well. His passion and drive came through in this one meeting. Ted wanted to meet everyone involved, and to learn more about the organization. I was very impressed with his interest and concern from this visit.
Here’s a link to the story that was published after his visit.
If Ted Nolan can bring that compassion to a non-for-profit organization and care that much, imagine what he’s going to do as a coach. I personally can’t wait for Friday night’s game against the Leafs. I expect to see a different team, and a coach that shows emotion from behind the bench. I know he’s just the interim coach, but I really hope that he does well.
Does the suffering end here? Of course not. LaFontaine and Nolan both acknowledged that in this mornings press conference. However, for the first time in 16 years, fresh eyes have been brought in to assess the situation, and start making changes. What do I like? Nolan and LaFontaine are very close. I hope that they work together to start doing things to improve this team, and start building the championship hockey team that the city of Buffalo deserves.
November 13, 2013 will forever mark the end an era of suffering in Buffalo. Fresh blood has been brought in, and while there is still a lot of work to be done, a new found hope is in the air. Fans are excited for the first time in quite awhile. For the first time all season, I’ve heard fans say that they’re looking forward to a Buffalo Sabres game. It may not be much, but there is a small amount of optimism that has been injected into the Buffalo Sabres fan base.
It’s difficult to watch a dismal team each and every night. Fans wanted change, and today, they got it. Darcy Regier is now in the past. A new chapter has been opened in Buffalo Sabres hockey and is about to be written. I, for the first time in several years, am very optimistic about the future for the Buffalo Sabres.
And it feels great.
As always, follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB I live chat during games and provide updates etc throughout the course of the day as long as I’m able to.
As always, thanks for reading!!!