Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/13/13 at 12:56 PM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Building a winning environment at practice, in games, around the rink will fall to Nolan.
"Hopefully I can bring some credibility back into this organization," Nolan told reporters Wednesday in Buffalo. "I'm really looking forward to it."
Some immediately reacted with skepticism to the fact that Nolan was tabbed only as the interim coach. But after the disaster of replacing longtime coach Lindy Ruff (who actually took over from Nolan back in 1997) with Rolston and then keeping Rolston into this season, it's important to make sure Nolan is the right fit.
LaFontaine indicated whoever takes over as GM will have a say in the long-term coaching issue, which makes eminent sense. As for who will be the next GM, one has to imagine LaFontaine will reach out to Rick Dudley, another top hockey mind with long ties to the team, as well as highly regarded Claude Loiselle of the Maple Leafs and Tom Kurvers of the Lightning.
The bigger challenge of how to reset this franchise on the right track will fall to LaFontaine. He told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning he will begin a search for a GM but it's LaFontaine, who arrives after a very brief stint with the league as a vice president of development and community affairs, who will ultimately set the tone and establish the identity of this team.
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