The Buffalo Sabres announced a massive front-office shake-up in a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Buffalo is parting ways with coach Ron Rolston and longtime GM Darcy Regier, the fourth-longest tenured GM in the NHL.
As an immediate replacement, the team will re-hire former coach Ted Nolan as an interim coach and former Sabres legend Pat LaFontaine as the president of team operations. The Sabres, at 4-15-1, are currently last in the NHL with just nine points.
"My goals for this organization have not changed," Sabres owner Terry Pegula said at the press conference. "I talked with Pat last week and he said I've never won a Stanley Cup but I can't think of a better place to win one."
LaFontaine said that there's an on-going search for a new GM, and he already has a short list of candidates. LaFontaine also said that he would finish out the year with Nolan as his interim coach. Nolan won the Jack Adams coach of the year award in 1996 with Buffalo, leading the Sabres to the division title.
"I couldn't be more excited, couldn't be more proud to lead this franchise," LaFontaine said, who also noted that he will work with assistant GM Kevin Devine until they find a new general manager. Whoever LaFontaine chooses as his GM will be tasked with finding the new coach, and Nolan will remain the team's coach until that time.
One of LaFontaine's first priorities will likely be deciding what to do with goalie Ryan Miller, who's set to become an unrestricted free agent. LaFontaine needs to figure out whether Miller will be part of the team's plans moving forward, or if not, he'll likely want to see what type of value Miller would yield on the trade market.
LaFontaine's No. 16 was retired by the Sabres after playing for the team from 1991-1997.