By John Vogl
PHILADELPHIA -- Arturs Irbe remains the front-runner to become the Sabres' next goaltending coach, a source with ties to the goalie guild tells The News.
Irbe has been mentioned as a potential Sabres assistant ever since it became clear Ted Nolan would clean house and hire his own people. That hasn't changed, and it's being assumed in hockey circles that Irbe is a given for the job.
Irbe was one of Nolan's assistants on the Latvian Olympic team. The former NHL goalie, who played for San Jose, Dallas, Vancouver and Carolina, was Washington's goalie coach from 2009 to 2011 but went back to his homeland after failing to get a promotion to regular assistant coach.
There is no timetable for Nolan to announce his coaching staff. He released assistants Joe Sacco, Teppo Numminen and Jerry Forton, plus goalie coach Jim Corsi, at the end of the season. Nolan inherited the staff from previous coach Ron Rolston.