The Buffalo Sabres released an official statement on Saturday evening announcing Pat LaFontaine’s resignation from his position as hockey operations president of the Sabres. He is due to go back to being VP of development and community affairs in the National Hockey League.
LaFontaine’s brief tenure brought about several changes in the Sabres’ lineup including appointing Tim Murray as general manager and Ted Nolan as interim coach. The announcement came out just hours after the Sabres made the trading deadline on Wednesday noon by sending goalie Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues for Chris Stewart, William Carrier, and Slovak Olympian Jaroslav Halak.
In addition to the aforementioned developments, LaFontaine managed to raise the Sabres’ morale by planning the introduction of national and international events to Buffalo prior to his sudden departure. There has been speculation over the real reason behind LaFontaine’s resignation including his intention to re-sign potential free agent Miller despite Murray’s plans of trading him.
There has also been concern over Nolan’s tenure with the Sabres now that LaFontaine is no longer president of their hockey operations. However, Murray assured Nolan that will continue to serve as head coach of the team. In an interview with Nolan on Sunday, he expressed a bit of dismay due to LaFontaine’s departure, but declared that he was going to put his “personal situation behind right now” in order to focus on coaching the team.
Sabres forward Drew Stafford became emotional after finding out that Ryan Miller had been traded to St. Louis. The following day, he was met by the announcement of LaFontaine’s resignation. The Buffalo Sabres have not been off to a good start this season, as they are currently in last place in the league. Sabres president Ted Black did not give any more details about LaFontaine’s sudden decision, although he rebuffed speculation that LaFontaine and team owner Terry Pegula had been having disagreements.
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