Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres have made Ted Nolan the club's full-time head coach and signed him to an undisclosed contract extension.
Nolan took over as interim coach on Nov. 13 when the Sabres made wholesale changes following a 4-15-1 start. The team is 16-30-8 since and still has the worst record in the NHL at 20-45-9.
"I said back in November that it was a dream to be able to come back and coach the Sabres and that's still true today," said Nolan in a statement Monday. "Hockey is my life and Buffalo is a special place for hockey. I'm excited by the challenge facing our team and our organization and I'm truly thankful to have this opportunity."
Nolan, who previously coached the Sabres for two seasons from 1995-97, was brought in by Pat LaFontaine, who was named the president of hockey operations on the same day in November. The duo replaced coach Ron Rolston and general manager Darcy Regier.
LaFontaine hired Tim Murray as the club's general manager in January, but the former Sabres star left the organization in early March amid reported front office discord.
Murray has reshaped the Buffalo roster, including trade deadline deals that sent star goaltender Ryan Miller to St. Louis and forward Matt Moulson to Minnesota. He is happy to have Nolan leading the young talent on the roster.
"We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward," said Murray. "Teddy has proven time and again that he is an exceptional leader, motivator and teacher. He is exactly what we need in a head coach for our hockey team and we're confident in his ability to guide our players and turn this team around."
Nolan guided the Sabres to a record of 73-72-19 in his first stint, but Regier took over as GM in 1997 and decided not to renew the coach's contract.