“We are very happy to get this deal done and have Ted Nolan as our permanent head coach going forward,” Murray said. “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 re-joined the Sabres after coaching the team to a 73-72-19 record in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, a stint during which he became the franchise’s first Jack Adams Award winner following a first-place Northeast Division finish in 1996-97.
Nolan later spent two seasons as head coach of the New York Islanders, guiding the Islanders to a 74-68-21 record during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. In 381 NHL games coached, Nolan has registered a 163-170-48 overall record.
“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,” Nolan said. “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.”
Since August 2011, Nolan has also served as head coach of the Latvian men’s national team.
He coached Team Latvia during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where the Latvians nearly upset Team Canada in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
Nolan began his NHL coaching career as an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers in 1994-95 after building a successful resume in junior hockey that culminated with a Memorial Cup win in 1993-94 in his sixth and final season as head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL).
Prior to his coaching career, Nolan tallied 22 points (6+16) in 78 NHL games as a member of the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.