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Sabres End Infighting With Firing of Muckler

May 15, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

John Muckler, the Buffalo Sabres' general manager, was dismissed Wednesday after two seasons of bickering with Coach Ted Nolan and several arguments with members of the front office.

Muckler's most heated battles came with Nolan, a finalist for NHL coach of the year. The two barely spoke to each other this season unless they were arguing.

"We have some improvement we have to make in the organization and get into a position where we're stronger in our communication," Sabre President Larry Quinn said. "We felt that John, given the circumstances, was not in position to get it done."

Assistant General Manager Larry Carriere will fill the void until the Sabres hire Muckler's replacement.

The Sabres were considered a longshot for the playoffs this year but wound up winning the Northeast Division, using many players Muckler obtained through trades and free agency the last two years.

Muckler coached the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup in 1990 before coming to the Sabres as director of hockey operations in 1991. He became coach a year later and had a 125-109-34 record in three-plus seasons, making him the second-winningest coach in team history behind Scotty Bowman.


King General Manager Dave Taylor made his first move in restructuring the team's minor league affiliation Wednesday when the Kings reached an agreement with the Montreal Canadiens to send seven top prospects to play in the American Hockey League with the Fredericton Canadiens starting next season.

The Kings have ended their affiliation with the Phoenix Roadrunners of the International Hockey League. Taylor said the Kings still are looking to reach agreements with other teams in the AHL and IHL.

"Having our young prospects play at Fredericton is a tremendous opportunity for us since Montreal is known for developing players there," Taylor said. "We've been assured that our guys are going to play. We'll monitor their development and we may also send an assistant coach there."

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