Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/10/14
Two of Tim Murray’s major immediate questions as the Buffalo Sabres’ new general manager are obvious. When it comes to Ted Nolan and Ryan Miller, do you keep the interim coach and can you keep the franchise goaltender? Miller wasn’t talking Thursday about the Sabres’ new front office personnel, understandably preferring to sit down first with Murray and new special assistant Craig Patrick. But President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine made it clear the Sabres want to keep Miller if he wants to stay. As for Nolan, LaFontaine’s loyalty to him is unquestioned. Speaking prior to the team’s game against the Florida Panthers, Nolan initially tried to downplay talk of his status now that a new GM is in place to decide his fate. “It has always been the same since Pat asked me to come here,” Nolan said. “I’m going to coach this team the best I can. I’m not worried about tomorrow. I’m just worried about here today and I really mean that in a sincere way.” But pressed on the issue, Nolan reiterated he wants the job for the long term. “Definitely. I made no secret about it,” he said. “If I had a crystal ball where I could pick one place to do this job in the best league in the world in the best city in the world, this would be the place.” The Sabres entered Thursday’s game with an 8-11-3 record under Nolan after going 4-15-1 under Ron Rolston. Murray has no prior relationship with Nolan, noting he’s simply seen him around arenas. “I’m open-minded about this coming in,” Murray said. “I want to establish a relationship with Teddy and his staff and move forward doing that.” Asked by The News following his introductory news conference if there were specific instructions during the interview process that he must retain Nolan, Murray gave a blunt answer: “I was never told if I take this job that I have to keep Ted Nolan as the head coach.”
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