Sabres' Nolan glad to be back home

September 28, 2017
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Jordan Nolan was in Buffalo for his first practice on Thursday. The winger was claimed from Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Phil Housley has talked throughout the preseason that his team hasn’t been physical enough. The head coach said that’s what he sees in Nolan, “Watching him on video, I like the physical aspect of his game, getting on the forecheck and for a big guy, he really moves well.”

Housley admitted that former Kings assistant coach Davis Payne had a lot to say to him and Jason Botterill about coaching Nolan.

Nolan said after talking with the coaches in L.A., it was obvious it was no longer going to work there. He said, “I think my time was up in L.A. They knew that and I knew that, so I need a fresh start and I’m pretty happy here in Buffalo.”

Nolan’s dad has had two different stints as coach of the Sabres. The first time he was not offered a contract after winning the Adams Trophy as coach of the year. The second time, he was fired by Tim Murray after 1.5 seasons. Despite that, Jordan is fine with coming here, “Obviously a lot of memories here. I lived over in St. Catharines in the offseason, a lot of my friends and family are in this area, so to come back here after so many years, it’s pretty interesting and it’s funny the way things work out.”

Ted Nolan is in Poland coaching the National Team. Jordan said, “Once he heard the news he was pretty happy, pretty emotional. They live in St. Catharines right now and I think he’s just happy to have me closer to home.” Jordan added, “Buffalo gave him his first opportunity, they brought him back a second time.”

“Buffalo’s been nothing but good to our family and I guess the third time is the charm for the Nolan family here.”

Bringing in Nolan brings in somebody who has won. Nolan won two Stanley Cups with Los Angeles and he thinks he can help by bringing that experience into the room, “I don’t like losing. I’ve been part of a winning team for a number of years, so I’ll bring some experience here.”

“I’m not expecting to change to world or anything, I’m just expecting to do my little part and chip in.”

Brian Gionta had been the only player in that room that had won a Cup. He’s now gone and Ryan O’Reilly thinks bringing in Nolan and his two Cups is invaluable, “Absolutely, he’s coming from a culture that’s had success and you kind of see it, every time you play that team, there was never an easy game and coming from that, it’s something that we want to feed off of.”

“He’s been around it and it’s something that all of us guys that haven’t won will be looking at and we’ll be looking to him, the way he handles himself.”

Since O’Reilly played against Nolan more in Colorado, I got a scouting report from him, “There’s never an easy shift against him, he’s always playing hard and I think it’s a nice addition for us.” Jason Pominville went up against him in Minnesota and he said, “He’s a big boy, skates really well for a guy his size. He’s one of those guys that’s annoying to play against and his game in north-south.”

Nolan was waived after getting back from China so Thursday was the first day he had skated in about a week.

 

Thursday’s lines:

Kane  Eichel  Pominville

Girgensons  O’Reilly  Okposo

Moulson  Reinhart  Griffith

Larsson  Josefson  Nolan

Pouliot  Deslauriers  Bailey.

 

Antipin  Ristolainen

Beaulieu  Bogosian

Gorges  Falk

Goloubef  Fedun

Scandella  Tennyson

 

The Sabres closeout the preseason on Friday at home against the Islanders.