By Mike Harrington
The Buffalo Sabres' fortunes were supposed to completely turn around on Feb. 23, 2011, the day Terry Pegula took over as owner. Hasn't worked out that way. No further explanation necessary.
Maybe in a few years, we'll look at Nov. 13, 2013 as the day.
Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston gone. Fan base thrilled.
Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan in. Fan base doubly thrilled.
It was an incredible morning in First Niagara Center and The Buffalo News has had full coverage online since the news of the press conference first broke around 9:30 Wednesday morning and reams of stories in today's print editions.
Here's a complete rundown of all the coverage:
It's back to the future for a broken franchise: As Jonn Vogl writes, "Enter Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan, faces from a golden age who strolled back into First Niagara Center on Wednesday with smiles, tears, determination and inspiring messages. News of their return raced through Sabreland and brought instant joy to a miserable time in team history."
Job one for LaFontaine: Restore the fans' faith in the front office: When I talked to LaFontaine after yesterday's press conference, he recounted how this entire plan was hatched in the last 10 days during a chance meeting with Terry Pegula in Florida -- and how Pegula first asked him about replacing Regier as the GM.
Rebuilding bridges is necessary -- Columnist Bucky Gleason says Regier burned so many in his time here that LaFontaine and Nolan have a lot of work to do to mend all the fences inside and outside the organization.
Darcy's hits and misses -- In a look back at Regier's career, Vogl writes, "Not getting the job done will be Regier’s ultimate legacy."
Nolan gets back to work in Blue & Gold -- The first post-practice press conference had Nolan thrilled to be back in his old job but much more secure in his shoes than when he was let go in 1997. "I’m done proving myself," Nolan says in Amy Moritz's story. "I just really want to do what I think I’m good at."
The players get a reset button -- Moritz also has reaction from the locker room, where the players seemed to sense there will be no more passengers with LaFontaine, Nolan and whoever is the GM now steering the ship.
Related content from the Sabres Edge blog:
- Video: Vogl & Harrington on Sabres' big changes
- Video: Nolan's remarks at news conference
- Video: Pegula's remarks at news conference
- Video: LaFontaine's remarks at news conference
- Photo gallery: Pat LaFontaine through the years
- Photo gallery: Ted Nolan through the years
- The News' archives: Stories about Pat LaFontaine
- The News' archives: Stories about Ted Nolan
- Audio: Players' reaction after first practice with Nolan
- Lindy on firings: 'You have to win games at home'
- Canadiens decline commment on possible Sabres inquiry on Dudley
- Original story following news conference
- Review news conference through News writers' tweets
taggedPat LaFontaine | Ted Nolan