I know almost nothing about ice hockey, but perhaps a total outsider is needed to the see the obvious. The line from Jim Kelley's column stating, "In any business, if you turn on your boss, . . ." made me crazy.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ted Nolan lost his boss in 1996 when Seymour Knox died.
What apparently ensued was power-playing that made the on-ice version seem not the least bit hairy. I imagine that every employee of the Sabres organization (not just the players) was desperately trying to figure out who was going to be the boss.
Maybe what Ted Nolan did wrong was to be the only one looking straight ahead to the goal of winning hockey games (in spite of the knives in his back, which I just learned of from Kelley's article) instead of looking for the right lifeboat to jump into.