Jan 9, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres president of hockey operationsPat LaFontaine
speaks to the media during the press conference announcing a Sabres new general manager at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
3. What in the world is going on with Pat LaFontaine? He left his Islanders job after 40 days. He just resigned in Buffalo after 4 months. Is he just not executive material?
EB: I love Pat LaFontaine. Next to Mike Bossy, this guy was my hero growing up. He represented everything good about the Isles. I don’t know what is going on with the guy, but perhaps he can’t be bothered with conflict. He resigned from the Isles after the whole Neil Smith fiasco. I really wish he and Neil Smith were still here. But, that’s beside the point. Then he took a job with Buffalo after their complete overhaul. He stays for 4 months after hiring former Isles head coach, whom I wish was also still here, Ted Nolan. Then he abruptly resigns and everyone says oh well it was a temporary position anyway. Be that as it may, he again got annoyed because something in the front office didn’t go his way. He wanted to re-sign Ryan Miller. Instead, he was traded to the Blues.
We may never really know what happens inside the front offices of pro sports teams. But, this just does not seem right. The first time you could blame the franchise. After all, the Isles have been in a state of disarray for 20 years. Why should anything change now? When it happens again, there’s something going on with Pat. If you can’t handle conflict, or not getting your way, you shouldn’t be in pro sports. Believe me, I am an Islanders fan, I know all too well about not getting my way. Had I gotten my way, the Isles would remain a Long Island team and Kate Murray would be picking up garbage by the side of the road!
CT: Man, it’s hard to believe, but Pat did it again. As a player, he’s one of my all-time favorites, but I don’t see how he’s ever going to get another job with an NHL team after this. I don’t know the full story – most don’t, I’m sure – but the blame cannot just fall on the Sabres organization here. This is the second time Pat has done this. He has held two positions with NHL organizations for a combined 149 days.
Maybe Pat should just buy his own NHL team and show us how it’s run? If not, I don’t think he can hold a job around the league.
RDR: I applaud LaFontaine’s move here. It’s obvious that money isn’t as important as a vision. If he had one for the Sabres and they messed with it, why stick around?
He’s made his mark on hockey, and thus needn’t worry about doing much more.
LaFontaine took the job because he believed in something that obviously wasn’t on the minds of those above him.
I hope to see this man back on Long Island or Brooklyn soon.
One of the great players of all time, and still one of my favorite sports personalities.
Rich Dias-Rodrigues (@RDNHL)
Chris Triantafilis (@christriants)
Eric Bordin (@EJONEverything)