Buffalo Sabres Fire Head Coach Don Granato As Playoff Drought Continues


On Tuesday, Don Granato was fired as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The team finished sixth in the Atlantic Division this season with a 39-37-6 record. As a result, Buffalo missed the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season, an NHL record for a postseason drought.

The Sabres released a statement following the dismissal of Granato, who just finished up his fourth season at the helm.

“I would like to thank Don for his time in Buffalo and commitment to the Sabres organization,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. “He has been integral in the development of many of our players and has undoubtedly been the right coach to bring us to where we are now, but I felt it was necessary to move in a different direction at this point in time. My expectation is to be a consistent contender and unfortunately that goal has not been met.

Granato was far from the worst coach in the league and the Sabres had an average campaign in 2023-24, but this news isn’t necessarily surprising. Granato took over one of the worst teams in the league as an interim head coach late in the 2020-21 season and managed to get them to play at a .500 level in his first full year as head coach. But the team as a whole stumbled this past season and there wasn’t much development to be seen on the ice. Granato will finish his Sabres tenure with a 122-125-27 record.

Ultimately, the franchise clearly felt Granato didn’t do enough to build off a fairly successful 2022-23 campaign in which Buffalo missed the postseason by only two points. The Sabres will keep shuffling through head coaches until they finally find the person who will lead them back to the playoffs and shake off the ignominious streak hanging over the head of the organization.

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