Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 16, 2014

Sabres shuffle assistant coaches, Forton offered reassignment

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The overhaul is continuing in Buffalo after Sabres coach Ted Nolan purged most of his staff of assistants on Wednesday.

Goalie coach Jim Corsi will not return, and assistant Teppo Numminen's contract will not be renewed, the Sabres announced. Two other assistants, Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton, the latter a former assistant coach with Niagara University's hockey program, have a choice to stay with the Sabres after being offered jobs within the team's hockey department.

The moves came three days after the Sabres (21-51-10) finished last in the standings, and closed one the worst and most tumultuous seasons in their 44-year history.

The shake-up doesn't come as a surprise. Nolan inherited the staff in November, after being hired on an interim basis to replace Ron Rolston.

Nolan has since been signed to a three-year contract and it was widely anticipated that he would begin hiring his own staff this offseason.

Former NHL goalie Arturs Irbe is regarded a potential candidate to join Nolan's staff. Irbe is from Latvia and has previously worked with Nolan, who has spent the past three years coaching the country's national team.

Corsi was the Sabres' longest tenured assistant after completing his 16th season in Buffalo. He played a role in mentoring former Sabres' great Dominik Hasek and then Ryan Miller, who was traded to St. Louis on Feb. 28.

Numminen, a former NHL defenseman, completed his third season in Buffalo after being first hired by former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.

Sacco, the former Colorado Avalanche head coach, and Forton were hired by Rolston last offseason.

Forton, a Buffalo native, joined the Sabres after years in college hockey. He served as an assistant coach under David Burkholder at Niagara University from 1996 to 2009. He later worked as an assistant coach for two years at UMass Lowell followed by two years as an assistant at Harvard.

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