Interim coach Nolan, Sabres closer to deal

Interim head coach Ted Nolan is nearing a deal that would see him become a fixture (again) with the Buffalo Sabres.

That “interim” tag appears to be on its last thread.

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, brought in as part of a midseason housecleaning, is nearing a deal with the franchise that would see him guide the Sabres for the next three seasons, reports Sportsnet’s John Shannon:

Nolan, the 1997 Jack Adams Trophy winner, returned for a second stint in Buffalo after being hired by Pat LaFontaine as the team’s interim coach in November, when coach Ron Rolston and general manager Darcy Regier were fired after the Sabres got off to a franchise-worst 4-15-1 start.

LaFontaine has since departed from his short-lived post as president of hockey operations, and new general managed Tim Murray is the one negotiating Nolan’s future with the NHL’s 30th-place club.

The rebuilding Sabres remain in last place in the NHL standings, but have shown improvement under Nolan, who has gone 16-29-7 since taking over for Rolston. Nolan, 55, also coached the underdog Team Latvia to the quarterfinals of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament this winter.

“We’re along that path,” Murray told reporters last month, regarding offering Nolan an extension. “We have discussed the possibility of moving forward. That’s all I’ll say.”

(with files from AP)

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