Sabres head coach Ted Nolan speaks with Marcus Foligno at practice this morning at First Niagara Center after the coach signed the contract extension. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
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By John Vogl

The finalization of Ted Nolan's contract today is more of a start than a finish. It allows the Sabres and their fans to know that an important position -- head coach -- is stable after a wild year of uncertainty and down times in Sabreland.

“I’m really excited about going with the next step,” Nolan said this afternoon during a joint news conference with General Manager Tim Murray. “Hopefully, one day we’ll battle for a championship.”

Nolan will be on board for the next three seasons after signing a long-awaited contract extension, which removed his interim status. Murray didn’t have a “Eureka!” moment when came to deciding Nolan should stick around. Rather, the GM saw a talent-lacking squad respond to its coach on a daily basis.

“Every day has been a trying situation,” Murray said in First Niagara Center. “There’s been very few games we haven’t been competitive.

“From the players, all I’ve heard is positives.”

Dealing with the players is the next step. Murray and Nolan, a pair of midseason replacements, are aware the roster will need an overhaul for Nolan to do the best job possible.

“We have to get him better players,” Murray said.

The full news conference is available below.

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