Buffalo Sabres Fire Coach, GM; Hire Ted Nolan and Pat LaFontaine

Dave EmkeContributor IIINovember 13, 2013

Ted Nolan is back as the Buffalo Sabres head coach.
Ted Nolan is back as the Buffalo Sabres head coach.Hockey Hall of Fame

In the midst of a woeful season and a full-scale rebuilding process, the Buffalo Sabres made some major shakeups to the front office Wednesday.

Owner Terry Pegula announced that Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston had been relieved of their duties as general manager and head coach, respectively.

Taking over for them will be former Buffalo Sabres captain Pat LaFontaine, under the title of president of hockey operations, and former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan as interim head coach. The shocking move was officially announced during a Wednesday morning press conference at First Niagara Center.

Terry Pegula: "Last night I relieved Darcy Regier of his duties as Buffalo Sabres General Manager and Ron Rolston as our head coach" #Sabres

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 13, 2013

Pegula: Pat LaFontaine will be President of Hockey Operations. Ted Nolan will be #Sabres interim head coach, effective today.

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 13, 2013

Nolan was the Buffalo head coach from 1995-97, compiling a record of 73-72-19. The team won the Northeast Division title under his guidance in 1996-97, and he was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's top coach that season. He left the team following that season, however, with personal tension between him and star goaltender Dominik Hasek cited as the reasoning.

Pat LaFontaine has returned to the Sabres as president of hockey operations.
Pat LaFontaine has returned to the Sabres as president of hockey operations.sabres.nhl.com

LaFontaine played for the Sabres from 1991-97 and set a team record for scoring in the 1992-93 season with 148 points. He previously worked in the front office of the New York Islanders, as senior advisor to owner Charles Wang during the 2006-07 season.

During Wednesday's press conference, LaFontaine said he will be working to find Regier's long-term replacement.

LaFontaine says he'll work with Sabres Assistant GM Kevin Devine while searching for a GM. He has a "short list."

— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) November 13, 2013

Regier had been the Sabres general manager since 1997, and he had been the target of a large amount of criticism from the team's fans in recent years.

Sabres president Ted Black said this move is part of the team's process toward becoming a championship contender in the future.

#Sabres President Ted Black: "We're about winning, creating a winning franchise, and today we take a huge step forward in that effort."

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 13, 2013