Former Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders bench boss Ted Nolan has been hired by the Polish Ice Hockey Federation to be the head coach of their men’s national team.
The 59-year-old replaces former Poland head coach Jacek Plachta, whose contract was not renewed by the Federation.
“We count on the Canadian hockey school,” Federation president Dawid Chwalka said in a release. “This country has been the best in the world in recent years and I’m glad we have been able to find an agreement with such a great coach.”
Nolan coached the Latvian national team from 2011 to 2014 and was behind the bench during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and the World Championships from 2012-2014.
The Garden River, Ontario native returned for his second stint with the Sabres during the 2013-14 season and also coached in Buffalo in 2014-15.
“I love challenges,” said Nolan in the release. “I’ve always been an underdog my whole life. When this opportunity came and seeing where Polish hockey has been for a while, hopefully I can make a difference and rise up to a higher level.”
Nolan originally coached the Sabres during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, he spent 2006-07 and 2007-08 behind the bench for the Islanders.
He has also coached at the Junior level, including five years with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League and one season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.