For a team that has won its last three games, this weekend for the Buffalo Sabres has been a nightmare.
There really is no better way to put it, as the team traded away its captain in Steve Ott, and franchise goaltender in Ryan Miller just before their game against the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Still, the Sabres were able to win that game, despite the obvious distractions.
Saturday, the Sabres suffered another blow, as Pat LaFontaine resigned from his position as President of Hockey Operations, and many are unsure why. Sabres President, Ted Black, said today that he found out "a few days ago" that LaFontaine was going to resign. Black also dismissed the idea that there was a rift between LaFontaine and other members of the team's management.
There have been a few theory's regarding LaFontaine's sudden resignation from the Sabres. One theory surrounded his loyalty to Ted Nolan. There have been reports that general manager Tim Murray wanted to go in another direction at the head coaching position for the team next season. Nolan was LaFontaine's hire, and many believe that LaFontaine resigned because of Murray's reported desire to replace Nolan. Murray discounted that today.
"Yes, and it's in negotiation," Murray said of his desire to retain Nolan. "We want him to come back. I don't know what he's thinking. We're just going down that road, so I guess I'll get an answer shortly from him."
Another theory surrounding LaFontaine's resignation was that the trade involving Miller and Ott upset him, as he had hoped to keep those players. Murray discounted that report as well.
"We were on the same page," Murray said. "I was brought in here for the rebuild. He hired me, and we were on the same page with that."
There will continue to be speculation regarding LaFontaine's resignation, especially with the timing of things. He spent three months with the Sabres in a position where he was in charge of engineering a rebuild of the team. The Sabres have maintained that the relationship has not soured between the organization and LaFontaine, and that he decided to return to his position with the NHL.
At the moment, both the Sabres and LaFontaine are saying the right things in an attempt to avoid controversy. However, fans are having a hard time believing what they are being led to believe.
Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL, Pat Lafontaine, Ryan Miller, San Jose sharks, St. Louis Blues, Steve Ott