It was a moment that many were expecting, but no one was really expecting—does that make sense?
On the morning of Nov. 13, the Sabres announced they would have a press conference, and rumors quickly began to swirl. The first name to emerge was that of Pat LaFontaine, who would be coming into the front office under a new position: president of hockey operations.
With his No. 16 hanging in the First Niagara Center rafters for his performance as a Sabre from 1991-97, the return of LaFontaine to the organization was a welcome sight. But it wasn't the major change that fans were hoping for.
Then, the craziness started.
Media members who were streaming into the press conference began tweeting LaFontaine wasn't the only familiar face on the dais. Ted Nolan, the fan-favorite head coach from the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, was in attendance too. And Darcy Regier was nowhere to be seen.
This was going to be a bigger announcement than the creation of a new front-office position.
Owner Terry Pegula announced Nolan was returning as interim head coach to replace Rolston and LaFontaine's top priority would be to find a replacement for Regier as general manager. Fans rejoiced at all the announcements.
Nolan remains the team's interim coach, though recent successes on the ice are evidence of the life he has drummed up in the team. And LaFontaine has said he wouldn't name a new general manager until after the 2014 Olympics—though recent reports indicate he may be closing in on the deal.