The start of a new era has officially begun in Buffalo, as the remaining components of the team's recent history have finally been washed clean.
The Buffalo Sabres have fired manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston, while introducing Pat LaFontaine in the newly developed role of President of hockey operations. In addition, Ted Nolan has been named interim head coach. Owner Terry Pegula announced that Regier and Rolston were informed of their firing on Tuesday night. Regier was hired as the manager of the Sabres in 1997 after acting as interim manager during the 1995-96 season. He was the one who hired head coach Lindy Ruff who coincidentally was replacing Nolan at the time.
Regier and Ruff led the Sabres until Ruff was fired in February of 2012. Sabres fans had been actively calling for Regier to join Ruff and reports surfaced that the team was looking to make a change before Christmas.
Assistant general manager Kevin Devine will be working closely with LaFontaine while he searches for a replacement manager. He stated during the news conference that he has a short-list he is pulling from in finding Regier's replacement. LaFontaine stated that the next manager will have a say in who the next head coach will be, but expressed confidence in Nolan. It was confirmed that the entirety of the Sabres assistant coaching staff will be retained.
Pegula was unable to express an exact reason why Regier was fired other than stating it was time. The owner stated that discussions with LaFontaine were sparked by an unrelated meeting about concussions. LaFontaine left such a positive impression on Pegula that he decided to offer LaFontaine the manager position, which he ultimately turned down. From there, the role of president was conceived.
The group indicated that a group mentality was crucial to management of the team. Patience and development were stressed as primary components in rebuilding the franchise.