Hasek Doesn't Want Nolan Back As Coach

Posted: June 25, 1997

As if the Buffalo Sabres didn't have enough problems, all-world goalie Dominik Hasek said he has had enough of all-league coach Ted Nolan.

Hasek, named the NHL's Most Valuable Player and top goalie last week, conceded yesterday that he has no respect for Nolan and would rather not see the Coach of the Year behind the bench next season.

Hasek, however, would return to the Sabres even if Nolan is rehired. Nolan's contract expires on Monday.

``If he's here, it won't change,'' Hasek said. ``I'll play my best in the net and do my best to help the team. I won't be happy, but I don't make the decisions. I'll only be happy if he won't be here.''

The struggle between Nolan and Hasek started midway through last season, but neither has said what caused their conflict. Hasek was told by management not to reveal his reason.

Buffalo is in an awkward situation about whether to bring back Nolan after he and Hasek helped the team to the Northeast Division title.

Hasek will be paid at least $4.2 million over the next two years of his no-trade contract. Nolan is popular with fans, and the Sabres are worried about losing season-ticketholders if he is not rehired.

``I don't respect him,'' Hasek said.

RED WINGS: BOWMAN WANTS SAY Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said he must continue to have a say on trades and other personnel decisions if he is to return to coach the defending Stanley Cup champions for another season.

Bowman told the Detroit News that he will make his decision after another meeting with team owner Mike Ilitch.

``I want to make sure what's happening,'' Bowman said from his Buffalo, N.Y., home. ``I need to know what my options are.''

After meeting with Ilitch last week, Bowman had said he wanted to make his decision after results from a physical. Those tests came back fine, and Bowman had a speck of melanoma successfully removed from his face.

Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup five times with Montreal and once with Pittsburgh, had said after the meeting last week that he would like to come back, but is now saying he wants to make sure his role and compensation are defined.

Last weekend, senior vice president Jimmy Devellano said the team would not offer forward Tomas Sandstrom a new contract. Bowman had no input in that decision.

MAPLE LEAFS: Arena plan fails

A $300 million plan by the Toronto Maple Leafs to build a new arena atop the city's historic Union Station bit the dust when the city council rejected the NHL club's offer for taxpayer-owned rail lands.

The arena would have replaced 65-year-old Maple Leaf Gardens.

But city officials said the offer from Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. wasn't good enough. The Leafs wanted to pay $1 million a year in rent; the city wanted $9 million.

The Leafs owners said they will look at new sites.

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