Just one day after the Buffalo Sabres pulled off one of the biggest trades in team history, fan favorite Pat LaFontaine announced that he is leaving his post in the front office.
LaFontaine came to Buffalo in November, accepting a position as president of hockey operations. It was thought that his expertise and connection to the fans would help transform both the direction of the organization as well as its public image. LaFontaine's influence brought head coach Ted Nolan and General Manager Tim Murray to the team, and there was a noticeable rise in enthusiasm from fans in general.
No reason has been offered for LaFontaine's departure. However, the trade of goaltender Ryan Miller might have played a role. LaFontaine opposed trading Miller. He also supported making Nolan the permanent head coach, a decision the team still has not addressed.
His departure comes just weeks after he told a reporter at WGRZ-TV that Buffalo was his destiny and that he was supposed to be here.
LaFontaine will be returning to New York to work in the NHL's central office.