Ted Nolan blamed racism for his exit from the Buffalo Sabres and subsequent difficulties getting back into the NHL in a recent interview with Puck Life magazine. Nolan neglects to admit that his own conduct led to his departure from the NHL. He had frequent confrontations with GM John Muckler and managed to get on the bad side of arguably the best player in Sabres history, Dominic Hasek. Despite his success on the ice, Nolan’s off ice issues became a headache for the Sabres ownership.
Additionally, Nolan actually was offered a 1 year, $500,000 contract to coach the Sabres 1998-1999 season by Muckler’s replacement, Darcy Regier, which he turned down. This was the final straw for the Sabres ownership and the deal was not offered again. Nolan was then offered a head coaching job for the 1998-1999 season by the Tampa Bay Lighting and an assistant coaching job by the New York Islanders. Nolan rejected both of these offers. So when Nolan looks to racism as the reason for his departure from coaching in the NHL, he is ignoring the hostility he created in Buffalo and his own failure to take the offers when they were available. Nolan will be no closer to coaching in the NHL until he takes a long look in the mirror and acknowledges his own mistakes.