Pat LaFontaine is a great hockey guy. He's been coaching youth in the Long Island area, 15 and 16 year olds, really great hockey guy, very well liked. This is about as big of a jump as one could expect really...in terms of non-playing resumes, Lafontaine and I are pretty similar relatively speaking...though he's probably about 1000x smarter than I am. But this is still a huge career jump...youth coaching to running an NHL team. soyouresayingtheresachance.jpg
This is all very interesting...I like some parts of it, I don't like others. Ted Nolan will get these guys playing hard, but is he really a good nurturer for skilled youth? I'm not sure. For a name that is so familiar to us, he really doesn't have that much NHL head coaching experience. A couple years in Buffalo, a couple years for the Islanders, a .500 record more or less. I don't know the finite points of Ted Nolan's player development skills, but that's the kind of coach they need there. Someone that can develop talent, not someone that can get them to play a hard, physical defensive style to pump out a few more wins. Yeah, learning defense is part of it, yeah, winning is part of it. But the last thing you want is to finish 10th in the Wales Conference and Mikhail Grigorenko turns into Oleg Saprykin instead of Alexander Mogilny.
Maybe Ted Nolan had a hand in finishing off Keith Yandle's youth development - in which case, he did a fine job on the offensive skills side. I don't know the answer to that though.
It doesn't sound like this was a plan though, it sounds like this was talked about over drinks and then they decided to change the face of a professional sports team. Pegula had never met Nolan until last night. LaFontaine was only in the picture for about a week. LaFontaine seems to be one of the few that is friends with Nolan in the professional landscape.
I like Pegula, I like his passion for the game and all. But he's got this Michael Scott vibe to him. The last thing he heard is the greatest idea ever.
Side note, I guess I'm wrong that you let the new guys take over before you uproot a lot of players. Dallas let Nieuwendyk make a bunch of deadline moves and got all these prospects and all this and then fired him. Buffalo lets Regier trade Sekera and Vanek for whatever and then they fire him. I guess I can see it both ways, but it seems odd that if their impending doom was imminent that they wouldn't get the chance to make major organizational decisions on their way out the door.