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All About Ron Rolston (as Interim Head Coach of the Buffalo Sabres)... on "hot seat"?


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#1 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

Ron Rolston Earns Chance at NHL Coaching job: http://www.nhl.com/i...id=nhl:topheads

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General manager Darcy Regier introduced Rolston as an interim coach, but said he'll have a chance at the full-time job.

"I saw his team play in Hamilton the other afternoon," Regier said. "His teams play with structure, discipline. They have a work ethic. He has a good hockey club down there right now and he has them playing real good hockey so I think you’ll see some of those traits.

I don't think he'll be a character hard-ass like Darrly Sutter, but I'd really really like to see the Buffalo Sabres return to greatness with the "Hardest Working Team in Hockey" label we once had.

Spent a lot of time with USNTDP (2004-2011).  Career on his wiki: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Ron_Rolston

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  • Won NCAA National Championships in 1992 and 1994 with Lake Superior State University, a team he also guided to three straight appearances in the NCAA National Championship game and four CCHA tournament titles in his five-year stint
  • Perhaps the most decorated coach in NTDP history, Rolston-led teams have never missed the championship game in either of the major NTDP tournaments, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship. In the 4 IIHF U-18 Championships that he his teams have competed in, they have brought home 3 golds and a silver medal.

Edited by IKnowPhysics, 22 February 2013 - 03:51 PM.


#2 DeLuca1967

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:31 PM

View PostIKnowPhysics, on 20 February 2013 - 08:24 PM, said:

Ron Rolston Earns Chance at NHL Coaching job: http://www.nhl.com/i...id=nhl:topheads



I don't think he'll be a character hard-ass like Darrly Sutter, but I'd really really like to see the Buffalo Sabres return to greatness with the "Hardest Working Team in Hockey" label we once had.

Spent a lot of time with USNTDP (2004-2011).  Career on his wiki: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Ron_Rolston
He'll have 31 games to impress the new GM. ;)

#3 ThirtyEight

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

Any Amerks fans know anything about his style? Offense vs defence, battling vs speed etc.

#4 Icehole

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

I think this is a good move by the Sabres, it gives them some wiggle room and a chance to see how the current team responds to another coach.  Should be interesting.

#5 d4rksabre

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

I heard him being described this afternoon as a much more cerebral coach than Lindy. Someone who can coach smart players where old-school style coaching wont work.

I think we do have some bright guys on our team, which is why they struggle. There's a chance Rolston may be just the coach they need.

#6 LTS

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:15 PM

The Amerks have been a pretty good team this year.  I've only seen two games but they certainly move the puck well and skate hard for him.  I'm hoping for the best at this point.

#7 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

View PostLTS, on 20 February 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

skate hard for him.

Here's hoping.

#8 ThirtyEight

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:39 PM

Amerks fans seem to think he isn't ready for the NHL and that his in-gane coaching is very lacking right now

#9 BuffaloSoldier2010

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:56 PM

View PostThirtyEight, on 20 February 2013 - 08:39 PM, said:

Any Amerks fans know anything about his style? Offense vs defence, battling vs speed etc.
This right here is what i am interested to see.  I am not sure what his preferred style is because if i remember correctly, he was instructed to mimic Ruffs system in Rochester due to the whole "sabres University" thing.

I'm not sure if that stuck but I'm hoping he unwraps some original Ron Rolston for us in the coming weeks, rather than rinsing and repeating Lindy's tired system.

#10 RayFinkle

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

View PostThirtyEight, on 20 February 2013 - 09:39 PM, said:

Amerks fans seem to think he isn't ready for the NHL and that his in-gane coaching is very lacking right now
Link?

#11 Who Else?

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

Any word on assisstant coaches yet?  Darcy was non-commital in his comments pertaining to the current group.

#12 IKnowPhysics

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:28 PM

View PostWho Else?, on 20 February 2013 - 10:40 PM, said:

Any word on assisstant coaches yet?  Darcy was non-commital in his comments pertaining to the current group.

Discussions with Rolston today, nothing announced yet.

#13 Punch

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

Elliotte Friedman: Ron Rolston brings technically sound plan to Buffalo

"His attention to detail starts with having to take care of the defensive end first," Brian [Rolston, Ron's brother & longtime NHLer] said. "I was lucky to play nine seasons for a great coach in Jacques Lemaire, and Ron would ask me, 'What does Jacques do here? What does he think about this?'


"In Boston, we had a rule: the forwards back-checked the puck and the defence took the middle of the ice away. The goalies knew the shot was coming from the outside. Ron will be like that. He'll set up a defensive system and expect the players to stick with it."


Other than that, though, Brian declined to specifically compare him to one of his own NHL coaches. "He's his own man."



#14 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:03 AM

So is it Rahlston or Role-ston?

I'm fully behind the move. I like that he's a virtual outsider but has ties to some of the young players. A good compromise.

#15 Chief Enabler

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:06 AM

What should the future foresee? sabres turning into the Devils? Just sayin.."..

#16 dudacek

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:46 AM

Yeah, I'm with PA. A new voice was needed and the assistants wouldn't have offered that.
The best fresh voices are all employed, and an unemployed big name doesn't make sense if Regier is hanging by a thread.
Probably the best option we had.

#17 ThirtyEight

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:15 AM

View PostRayFinkle, on 20 February 2013 - 10:23 PM, said:

Link?
http://www.letsgoame...&t=868&start=10

#18 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

As I laid awake this morning before getting up, I wondered what Rolston would tell the team.  I think I would start out saying, "You're not playing for Lindy anymore.  You're not playing for me, not yet.  So play for each other.  When approaching an opposing player, you're not just paying lip service to covering him, you're trying to make your teammate's job easier.  So don't just wave your stick listlessly, force the issue.  Make the opponent give up the puck before he wants to, before the receiver of the pass is in position to make it easier for your teammate covering that guy.  If you're covering the receiver of the pass, try to disrupt the pass from being received, so the teammate next to you has an easier time recovering the puck.  When we have possession,  make sure we're supporting the puck carrier, because the other team is forcing the issue, too.  These are basic things.  Don't worry about playing for me, doing what I told you to do in training camp, because I haven't told you anything yet.  Instead, play for each other; play as a team."

#19 grinreaper

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

View PostThirtyEight, on 21 February 2013 - 07:15 AM, said:


I don't know that I'd go by what those yahoos wrote. They can't even put a coherent sentence together.

#20 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:02 AM

View PostThirtyEight, on 21 February 2013 - 07:15 AM, said:


Ah, so people who know all about hockey just like we do (only on a minor league level) wonder if he's ready.  That means.... absolutely nothing to me.  If anything, it's why they gave him the interim tag.  

I ain't skeered.

View Postgrinreaper, on 21 February 2013 - 08:00 AM, said:

I don't know that I'd go by what those yahoos wrote. They can't even put a coherent sentence together.

View PostDoohickie, on 21 February 2013 - 08:00 AM, said:

I ain't skeered.

:oops:

#21 weave

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:59 AM

View Postgrinreaper, on 21 February 2013 - 08:00 AM, said:

I don't know that I'd go by what those yahoos wrote. They can't even put a coherent sentence together.

View PostDoohickie, on 21 February 2013 - 08:02 AM, said:

Ah, so people who know all about hockey just like we do (only on a minor league level) wonder if he's ready.  That means.... absolutely nothing to me.  If anything, it's why they gave him the interim tag.  

I ain't skeered.





:oops:


He did say in his post that *fans* don't think he's ready. I'm not sure why you guys might have expected anything else.

#22 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

That's our problem.  We expect too much, with no reason to do so.

#23 LGR4GM

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

http://bleacherrepor...lo-sabres-coach
Ron Rolston is #2 on the top 5 replacement list (according to the authors opinion) but I found it interesting that Patrick Roy was also on the list at #3.  I am very interested to see what Rolston can do, but I think expectations for tonights game should be limited considering all he has is a morning skate with these guys.

#24 Neuvirths Glove

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

View PostLGR4GM, on 21 February 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

I am very interested to see what Rolston can do, but I think expectations for tonights game should be limited considering all he has is a morning skate with these guys.

Oh, there's much more to consider.  I'm pretty sure each and every player has been examining their own role with the club and whether they will be there next year.  This isn't just another game, it's a tryout- with Rolston, but also with TP and TB, and if they fail that, the rest of the league.  That will be much more of a motivating factor than anything Rolston does today.

I do hope he makes it clear that, come next week, there will be new captains announced:  Not that any of the existing captains are being demoted, but simply that Rolston is going to pick his own captains based on what he sees over the next week (or whatever period he picks).  He needs to instill a meritocracy.  For too long, and I think this was part of Lindy's problem at the end, the team was a reputationocracy.  It was based on opinions and appearances rather than actions and performance.

#25 LabattBlue

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

I heard Jeremy White this morning talking about Rolston's accomplishments at Lake Superior State, winning championships blah blah blah.  What he didn't say was that he was not the HEAD COACH during that time.  The only times in his career he has been a head coach was when he was in charge of the US kiddies, and Rochester for 1-1/2 seasons.

I'm not saying he can't succeed, but not only is he very green at the pro hockey level, but also as a head coach of anyone except teenagers.  Unless he is also adept at changing water into wine, and can turn this mess around in the next 30 games, I think he is nothing more than a placeholder until the end of the season.

#26 weave

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

I heard Jeremy White this morning talking about Rolston's accomplishments at Lake Superior State, winning championships blah blah blah. What he didn't say was that he was not the HEAD COACH during that time. The only times in his career he has been a head coach was when he was in charge of the US kiddies, and Rochester for 1-1/2 seasons.

I'm not saying he can't succeed, but not only is he very green at the pro hockey level, but also as a head coach of anyone except teenagers. Unless he is also adept at changing water into wine, and can turn this mess around in the next 30 games, I think he is nothing more than a placeholder until the end of the season.

Agreed. I expect he is, and was told, this is very temporary.

#27 Eleven

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

I heard Jeremy White this morning talking about Rolston's accomplishments at Lake Superior State, winning championships blah blah blah.  What he didn't say was that he was not the HEAD COACH during that time.  The only times in his career he has been a head coach was when he was in charge of the US kiddies, and Rochester for 1-1/2 seasons.

I'm not saying he can't succeed, but not only is he very green at the pro hockey level, but also as a head coach of anyone except teenagers.  Unless he is also adept at changing water into wine, and can turn this mess around in the next 30 games, I think he is nothing more than a placeholder until the end of the season.

Well, now you see the danger in the "anybody but Ruff" mentality.

Rochester folks:  what can you tell us about Rolston's system?

#28 LabattBlue

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

View PostEleven, on 21 February 2013 - 11:04 AM, said:

Well, now you see the danger in the "anybody but Ruff" mentality.
I don't see the danger.  It's interim.  It was clear from the minute the news broke yesterday, that it would be one of Lindy's assistants or Rolston for the rest of the season.  Did you expect different?

#29 bcardona

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

I think this past Friday was the first time I ever saw him get fired up behind the bench (at refs). I'm not qualified to analyze his system, but from an entertainment perspective he has been boring. Maybe given the higher stakes he'll be more demonstrative, but I don't expect it.  Of course standing there silently and leading them to cup works for me too.

#30 Touched by Boyes

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

I heard Jeremy White this morning talking about Rolston's accomplishments at Lake Superior State, winning championships blah blah blah.  What he didn't say was that he was not the HEAD COACH during that time.  The only times in his career he has been a head coach was when he was in charge of the US kiddies, and Rochester for 1-1/2 seasons.

I'm not saying he can't succeed, but not only is he very green at the pro hockey level, but also as a head coach of anyone except teenagers.  Unless he is also adept at changing water into wine, and can turn this mess around in the next 30 games, I think he is nothing more than a placeholder until the end of the season.
Well if there is a silver lining its that we have 3 players in the top 6 who are under 23 (Coho, Ennis, Foligno) and a 18yr old high draft pick, so its not like we have a ton of 30+ grizzly vets that won't take kindly to a amatuer coach. Motivating young kids is all that Rolston has ever done, but we have a few of them

#31 Eleven

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 11:11 AM, said:

I don't see the danger.  It's interim.  It was clear from the minute the news broke yesterday, that it would be one of Lindy's assistants or Rolston for the rest of the season.  Did you expect different?

I didn't expect different, but that doesn't mean it's smart to fire someone without having a succession plan.

#32 LabattBlue

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:26 AM

View PostEleven, on 21 February 2013 - 11:24 AM, said:

I didn't expect different, but that doesn't mean it's smart to fire someone without having a succession plan.
Maybe the plan is etched in stone, but won't take effect until the offseason. ;)

#33 shrader

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

I heard Jeremy White this morning talking about Rolston's accomplishments at Lake Superior State, winning championships blah blah blah.  What he didn't say was that he was not the HEAD COACH during that time.  The only times in his career he has been a head coach was when he was in charge of the US kiddies, and Rochester for 1-1/2 seasons.

I'm not saying he can't succeed, but not only is he very green at the pro hockey level, but also as a head coach of anyone except teenagers.  Unless he is also adept at changing water into wine, and can turn this mess around in the next 30 games, I think he is nothing more than a placeholder until the end of the season.

And even then, he was coaching under someone who has become one of the most respected coaches in the college game.  I really don't know what to make of his college coaching career.  Those teams had great records at all of his stops except for Harvard, which was stuck in a major transition at that point.  Otherwise, the bulk of his time was spent behind two of the most highly regarded guys in that world.  Hopefully he learned a lot from these guys, but it was still a long time ago in a very different world.

His real work that putting him on the map though was what you mentioned with the teenagers in the US program.  Who knows how that translates to the pro level.  I'm with you that he is more than likely just a place holder (no matter what other people have told me).  If nothing else, hopefully he can spend that time straightening out a few people's heads.

#34 Eleven

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

View PostLabattBlue, on 21 February 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Maybe the plan is etched in stone, but won't take effect until the offseason. ;)

If that's the case, either the Sabres are prescient and know which of the other 29 NHL head coaches will be available, or the guy they want already is available.  So no, there's no "plan."

#35 shrader

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:38 AM

View PostEleven, on 21 February 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

If that's the case, either the Sabres are prescient and know which of the other 29 NHL head coaches will be available, or the guy they want already is available.  So no, there's no "plan."

Or there could in fact be a currently employed guy either as an assistant or at the AHL level who they want but won't be allowed to talk to while the season is under way.

#36 Eleven

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:39 AM

View Postshrader, on 21 February 2013 - 11:38 AM, said:

Or there could in fact be a currently employed guy either as an assistant or at the AHL level who they want but won't be allowed to talk to while the season is under way.

I thought teams were allowed to talk to assistants, AHL coaches, etc., or at least generally received permission to do so.

#37 ThirtyEight

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostEleven, on 21 February 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

I thought teams were allowed to talk to assistants, AHL coaches, etc., or at least generally received permission to do so.

I doubt anyone gives you permission to do so in-season. Why would they? They have nothing to gain from it and why risk screwing up your teams mojo with a change

#38 Eleven

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

View PostThirtyEight, on 21 February 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

I doubt anyone gives you permission to do so in-season. Why would they? They have nothing to gain from it and why risk screwing up your teams mojo with a change

Mostly I thought that because of the way the fraternity works, and because organizations don't want resentful assistants.  But maybe I'm just out of my mind on this one.

#39 ThirtyEight

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

View PostEleven, on 21 February 2013 - 11:44 AM, said:

Mostly I thought that because of the way the fraternity works, and because organizations don't want resentful assistants.  But maybe I'm just out of my mind on this one.

I thought it was that very team gives permission in the off-season, and sometimes you get permission during the season (e.g. Burke), but usually it is accepted that the management stay with the team for the season.

12 of our next 17 are on the road. We have not had a good road record in some time - trial by fire for RR

#40 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

View PostThirtyEight, on 21 February 2013 - 11:49 AM, said:

I thought it was that very team gives permission in the off-season, and sometimes you get permission during the season (e.g. Burke), but usually it is accepted that the management stay with the team for the season.

Contract status might have something to do with it too.  Dallas Eakins, for instance, has an out-clause in his contract with the Marlies but cannot exercise it until the season is over.