The day after the Sabres finished last in the National Hockey League for a second straight year, head coach Ted Nolan paid the price by being fired from the rebuilding hockey team.
Finishing 30th means the team will win either of two young players considered the best of their generation: Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel or Erie Otters star Connor McDavid. That wasn't mentioned during the early evening news conference on Sunday.
General Manager Tim Murray was vague on the reasons for firing a coach he didn't hire.
"I think that he's a good man," Murray told the media.
"I've said all along I want to improve this team every day and today I came to the decision that a change may help us improve."
Murray says the players Nolan put on the ice were the players the he provided, through trades, draftings or free agent signings and suggested there weren't a lot of conversations about what was going on or which players would be brought up from the farm team in Rochester.
The next coach will have a mostly clean slate of assistants. All were fired except for goalie coach Arturs Irbe, who still has a contract.