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Sabres Fire McTavish, Hire DeBoer

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03-17-2010, 10:56 AM
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Sabres Fire McTavish, Hire DeBoer

In a shock move, Buffalo Sabres GM Joshua made a swift decision and fired long time coach Craig McTavish. McTavish, who had been with the club since before Pitt's arrival in late 2001, and had guided the team to a Stanley Cup, 2 Stanley Cup appearances and 5 consecutive seasons in the playoffs in his time with the Sabres, was in 1st place in the entire league in winning percentage only about a week ago, and now is left without a job.

The man chosen to replace him? Peter DeBoer

"I have never been one to move fast when it came to firing coaches given I believe that too many rapid changes at the top creates uncertainty and instability in player groups." Pitt said. "Craig has had great success with the franchise in recent seasons and many will feel he deserved better than what happened here, but with the loss to an arguably inferior team in the cup finals 2 years ago, the same last year in the conference finals after barely scraping into the playoffs and overall, disappointing performances this year, we felt that the organisation needed a major change in a hurry. I know many will question my statement regarding this season, but look at our performances, not one team has been blown out by us in 40+ games this season and we've hardly looked great against the better teams in the league, and despite an awesome 2 way forward crew and a good defence, Ryan Miller has struggled to be anywhere near the top of his game for much of the last few years. Peter is a good young coach, who should bring some good, physical play whilst maintaining team discipline, and we love his defensive abilities as a coach. We didn't want to let things go on too long with the way the team was playing and this gives peter time to establish himself before the playoffs."

DeBoer managed to do the trick in his first game, guiding the team to a 3-2 win in New Jersey over a strong Devils team. He now takes his weary squad to face a very good Predators team tonight lead by former Sabre Eric Cole, but should be buoyed tonight by the return of veteran winger Matt Cooke, who is back from his 6 game suspension.

McTavish was unavailable for comment.

That is all....for now

Buffalo Bill
Hockey Editor for The Buffalo News

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