By Mike Harrington
So Ted Nolan now has a GM to work under. What does the Buffalo Sabres' interim coach think his chances are of hanging around? He's like the rest of you. He doesn't know Tim Murray at all. He has to see.
"My status has always been the same since Pat LaFontaine asked me to come here," Nolan said after today's pregame skate for tonight's game against Florida. "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."
Nolan reiterated he wants the job on a permanent basis.
"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."
Murray said he was interested in working with Nolan, something Pat LaFontaine reiterated to reporters after today's formal press conference as well. But Murray also made it clear Nolan was not a prerequisite to getting the job when I asked him point-blank about that issue.
Murray looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I was never told if I take this job that I have to keep
Ted Nolan as the head coach."
Here's what LaFontaine had to say on the issue:
"It took a general manager wiht a very open mind to understand who's there now and be willing to give Teddy the opportunity because he is a great coach. Teddy is proving himself and Tim said, 'Hey, I really like Ted Nolan. I'd like to get to know him. I'd like to know what you think of him. I like what the team is doing.'
It's about changing culture. Tim Murray has paid his dues. He's earned this opportunity every step of the way. He knows Teddy has done the same thing. Let them get to know each other. A general manager and coach have to work tight together. They have to be a good team. He was very open to doing that."
Click below to hear Nolan's session with the media today, including his thoughts on the return of Mikhail Grigorenko.