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NHL Notebook: Buffalo Sabres fire head coach Don Granato and Logan Mailoux recalled, cleared by NHL to play for Montreal Canadiens

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Photo credit:Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
18 days ago
The Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Don Granato on Tuesday, three years after hiring him and 13 years after the organization made the playoffs.
It came as the Sabres were hoping to build off a strong 2022-23 season in which they had a 42-33-7 record and only missed the playoffs by one point. Instead, they not only fell flat of being close but actually regressed on the year, posting a 39-37-6 record, at least eight points shot of the playoffs.
On Tuesday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Frank Seravalli and Colby Cohen spoke about the move:
Frank Seravalli: This is a bit of a surprise to me. I know the reaction from Sabres fans on social media was that this had to happen. I look at Don Granato’s tenure in Buffalo, who has two years remaining on an extension that hasn’t even started yet, and I say that the Sabres had 91 points last year and that since January 1st this season they played at a 92-point pace, which would have been good enough for this year’s playoffs.
I don’t think Don Granato suddenly forgot how to coach, I think this is a roster construction issue. They made bets on too many young players that didn’t come to fruition and now the coach pays the price? That doesn’t seem right to me, what say you?
Colby Cohen: I think that you wonder what Kevyn Adams is thinking, you wonder where his head’s at. I remember when Kevyn Adams got hired being confused just because he went from a business ops position directly into the general manager chair without that hockey ops or assistant GM or head of something role, so I remember thinking that was a little bit of a head scratcher.
Then he goes out and brings Granato in, who injects a ton of life into the organization. He really does. Players love playing for him. He’s a very well-respected guy. I remember last season talking to Craig Anderson, who was the elder statesman of that group and a guy that I played with in Colorado, and he just raved about Granato.
Here’s why I believe he got fired: I do not think that the management in Buffalo felt that this team was responsible defensively. I don’t think Kevyn Adams is willing to look in the mirror and say it’s a personnel issue. I think he thinks they have enough personnel and that they’re defensive zone structure and coverage was missing a lack of commitment and I don’t think he feels strong enough about that. I think he thinks that offensively they’re in good shape, but defensively they have a lot of problems. Ultimately, I think it’s partially that and partially a show for the fans. At the end of the day, I think those things really do fall into place.

Mailoux recalled, cleared by NHL to play for Habs

A day after the Montreal Canadiens brought defenceman Logan Mailoux to their NHL roster, the league has released a statement, clearing him to make his NHL debut Tuesday night.
Mailoux, 21, was fined in November 2020 for taking and distributing an explicit photo without consent during a consensual sexual encounter while he was playing for the Swedish club SK Lejon. He was on multiple teams “do not draft” list for the following years draft, but that didn’t stop the Habs from using the 31st selection in 2021 to bring him into their organization.
He joined the AHL’s Laval Rocket this season for his first year of pro hockey, scoring 14 goals and 47 points in 70 games.
“We have met with Logan Mailloux multiple times over the course of the last eight to 10 months,” the league said in a statement. “We are comfortable that he recognizes the gravity of his prior conduct and is committed to making better and more responsible decisions in the future.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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