'Known as a players' coach, he directed the Sabres during the 1995-96 and '96-97 seasons and posted a 73-72-19 record. His tenure there included a constant battle of wills with former general manager John Muckler, who was eventually fired. In his second year, Nolan led the Sabres to a Northeast Division title and reached the second round of the playoffs that spring and later took home the Jack Adams award as NHL coach of the year. That summer, while seeking a long-term contract extension, he refused to sign a take-it-or-leave-it one-year offer from new GM Darcy Regier.'
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