Nolan, players react to departure of LaFontaine

March 2, 2014 Updated Mar 2, 2014 at 6:33 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

March 2, 2014 Updated Mar 2, 2014 at 6:33 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan faced the media Sunday morning to answer questions about the departure of the man who hired him just three months earlier.

"It was a big surprise, for sure," said Nolan, of learning the news that team President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine had resigned.

"I think we are all numb right now."

Nolan and LaFontaine maintained a friendship that goes back to the first time Nolan was behind the bench in Buffalo nearly two decades ago. Despite the personal connection, Nolan says his focus is on the guys in the locker room who have seen their starting goalie and captain traded, the the team's president resign all in the last 48 hours.

"It's one of those situations where I have to put my personal situation behind right now and really concentrate on those 22 guys here," said Nolan.

"It's tough, it's tough. I don't even want to think about it right now to tell you the truth. It's that tough," he added.

LaFontaine's departure comes at a time when discussions regarding Nolan's future with team have been a hot topic. But with the man who brought him on now gone, would Nolan even want to stay on as coach in the organization?

"It has nothing to do with wanting to. It has nothing to do with that right now. It's what's going on here right now," said Nolan.

"Yes we did talk about contract. Right now it's not about my contract. It's about the situation that just happened, it's about what transpired in this organization, what happened to a very dear friend and we'll leave it at that."

Team President Ted Black and general manager Tim Murray are expected to address the media later this afternoon.

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