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Sabres sticking with Rolston as head coach

By John Vogl

Ron Rolston really wanted to see what he could do in a normal NHL season. This truncated lockout year deprived teams of practice and teaching time, two things Rolston feels he can do really well. Following the season finale, he lamented the inability to do them.

He'll get his chance now.

The Sabres have removed the interim tag for Rolston, who was named the team's permanent head coach this morning.

General Manager Darcy Regier and Rolston will make a formal announcement at an 11 a.m. news conference in First Niagara Center.

Rolston, who took over for Lindy Ruff on Feb. 20, went 15-11-5 with the Sabres. They were tied for the youngest team in the NHL at various points in the season, and they are likely to retain that title next season.

Rolston came into the organization with a reputation for being a teacher after a long stint with the U.S. National Team Development Program, and the club will need an instructor for the young players.

The 46-year-old is the 16th head coach in team history. A big question revolves around his assistants.

The Sabres promoted Rolston from Rochester to replace Ruff, but they kept all of the longtime coach's assistants, notably James Patrick, Teppo Numminen, Kevyn Adams and Jim Corsi. Rolston's assistants remained in Rochester, with Chadd Cassidy assuming the interim head role with the Amerks.

Rolston may want to surround himself with coaches he knows.

Rolston was under contract with the organization through at least the end of June, so the Sabres could have taken more time for a coaching search. It's unclear whether they interviewed anyone. A representative for Patrick Roy said the Hall of Fame goaltender and junior coaching prospect said Monday he was not contacted.

Watch live video of the Sabres' press conference here at 11 a.m.


Ron Rolston
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |