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Major changes with the Buffalo Sabres are here: long-time general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston have been fired.

The team held a press conference this morning attended by owner Terry Pegula who announced the team is also creating a new position – the President of Hockey Operations – which will be held by former Sabre Pat LaFontaine.

Former Sabre head coach Ted Nolan will return on an interim basis. He coached the Sabres from 1995 to 1997 – going to the playoffs once – but relationships were strained at the end of his tenure.

“All the time I was away, there wasn’t one moment where I thought I’d have another chance to coach in the National Hockey League,” he said. “If I had a perfect crystal ball to pick one place I’d like to do it again, this is certainly the place I’d like to do it.”

Nolan also coached the Rochester Americans for two years, the last year overlapping with Pegula’s ownership of the team and the Sabres’ affiliation.

LaFontaine says he will begin searching for a new general manager.

“I think any time you bring in new leadership, you prepare the troops to go in a certain direction,” LaFontaine said. “I can tell you right now we have a lot of work in front of us. We have to patient, we have to be smart, we have to be selective and it’s not going to happen overnight.

“But I can tell you this: we’ll get the right people and we’ll start filling the holes and that team and that environment will grow.”

The 4-15-1 Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday at 7 coming off their first home win of the season. You can catch Friday's game right here on AM 1490 WBTA and online, WBTAi.com.

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