By Bucky Gleason
The Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement to hire Hall of Fame forward Bryan Trottier as an assistant coach under Ted Nolan. Sources with close ties to the organization said the move could be announced sometime within the next week.
Nolan has been looking for help since firing assistant coaches he inherited when he took over for Ron Rolston last season. Teppo Numminen and Jim Corsi were not hired back while Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton were reassigned. It left Nolan with filling their jobs with his own people.
Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert said that no announcements were planned for the immediate future.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Nolan had Trottier high on his list from the beginning. The two forged a relationship when Nolan coached the New York Islanders and hold one another in high regard. Trottier had been out of coaching but apparently was willing to come back for Nolan.
Trottier, a seven-time Stanley Cup winner, was widely respected during a playing career that ended after the 1993-94 season. He had 500 goals and 1,353 points in 1,123 games over 18 seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. His success as a player and experience as a coach should contribute to a young team.
Rumors had been swirling about Trottier in recent weeks as the summer carried along without a coaching staff being announced. Recent speculation also had former NHL netminder Arturs Irbe taking over as goaltending coach, but the sources were unable to confirm that.
Trottier won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders and two more with the Penguins during his 18-year playing career. He won another with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 as an assistant coach. He was head coach of the Rangers in 2002 but failed to survive a full season behind the bench.