Fantasy Impact: The Buffalo Sabres have fired GM Darcy Regier and Coach Ron Rolston, hiring Pat Lafontaine and Ted Nolan.
The Sabres get: Lafontaine, who has been hired as President of Hockey Operations, is a smart man who has remained in the business of NHL hockey since his retirement. He is a Hall-of-Famer with a lot of respect in league circles. And most importantly of all, I had him in my keeper league. Well...it's important to me, anyway. Lafontaine says that he will hire a new GM soon and already "has a short list".
Nolan has an "interim" tag over his head, which isn't great. But this allows the next GM to bring in their own guy. Perhaps they keep Nolan if he does well. Nolan is at his best when his team is terrible but he has a good goaltender. That makes him a nice fit here in terms of wins and losses. Not so much, in terms of offense. Though he does tend to ride his best players, which would mean that Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson could see a boost.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Since Nolan could be gone in a week, I wouldn't put any stock in the skaters getting a boost for very long, if at all. However, these changes are sweeping and in hiring two well-respected Buffalo people, a statement has been made. A big statement. Perhaps Ryan Miller is no longer as eager to leave? My certainty in Miller leaving has just dropped from 100% down to about 65%. If he stays, then Jhonas Enroth and Matt Hackett owners who had their fingers crossed, will be screwed.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. The top players (Moulson, Ennis, Hodgson)
2. Miller (more wins, short-term)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Enroth, Hackett